Today is King Kamehameha Day, a state holiday celebrating the unifier of the Hawaiian people, King Kamehameha. Planned events include a parade and a lei draping ceremony of the statue that stands in front of the Ali’iolani Hale (the state court building, AKA Five-0 headquarters). This is one of the many things that make Hawai’i unique from the rest of the states, in that at one point in our history, Hawai’i was a separate nation ruled by monarchs.
Throughout the State of Hawai’i honoring King Kamehameha the First takes on many forms blending various traditions colorful symbolism spanning the expanse of time. On O’ahu on Friday June 11th 2010 one of the time honored traditions swirls around the Ali’Iolani Hale.
Aka, The Royal Palace, the civic center of the Island that became the hub of government & commerce for what was once a Kingdom, united by Kamehameha who truly earned his title The Great. People arrive early for a terrific spot on the lawn the better to enjoy a performance by The Royal Hawai’i’an Band at 11 AM. All this time people have been creating colorful fragrant floral lei across the street at the civic center, yards of lei to honor a King.
Then at 11:30 AM it is time to drape those lei around the statue of King Kamehameha the Great. Many of the floral tributes measure more than twenty feet in length. Afterwards linger, go explore, downtown Honolulu has bloomed recently with many new clubs & restaurants in the Arts District (Chinatown for you old timers), honor King Kamehameha with a day of feasting, laughter and music.