King Kamehameha Day
King Kamehameha Day is celebrated annually in the State of Hawai’i on June 11th. This local holiday honors Kamehameha the Great, who was destined to unite the warring tribes of Hawai’i under one unified island kingdom.
King Kamehameha Day was first proclaimed on December 22, 1871 by Kamehameha V as a day to honor his grandfather, Kamehameha I. In 1959, Kamehameha Day was one of the first holidays proclaimed by the Hawai’i State Legislature after Hawai’i gained statehood in 1959.
Today, there are many celebrations in honor King Kamehameha Day across the islands of Hawai’i. The most important celebration dates back to 1901 after Hawai’i was established as a U.S. Territory. This celebration is known as the Lei Draping Ceremony which takes place in several locations across the state, as well as the United States Capitol. During this ceremony, statues of Kamehameha are draped in long strands of lei.
There are also several parades across the state, including the King Kamehameha Celebration Floral Parade in O’ahu, the King Kamehameha Day Celebration Parade in Kailua-Kona, and the Na Kamehameha Commemorative Pa’u Parade & Ho’olaule’a in Lahaina.
We hope that you get the chance to take in the rich history of one of Hawai’i’s first recognized holidays. Celebrating King Kamehameha Day truly is a taste of the Aloha Spirit!