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Hawaii’s cultural traditions connect us to the memories of generations past, allowing us to walk the in the footsteps of the ancestors. Though many Hawaiian cultural practices have given way to modern lifestyles, events have become invaluable venues to share and experience culture. Hearing a chant as it has been performed for centuries, learning from artisans immersed in their craft, or simply enjoying a music festival celebrating ukulele or slack-key guitar – instruments introduced to Hawaii by immigrants generations ago – can deepen your connection to the wealth of cultural assets that make these islands so special.
See the majesty of more than 20 premier halau, or schools, performing ancient and contemporary forms of hula at the Prince Lot Hula Festival (July), Hawaii’s largest non-competitive hula event. Learn about Hawaiian royalty through song, dance and storytelling at the King Kamehameha Celebration (June) and Eo E Emalani I Alakai Festival (October). And celebrate the local culture of coffee growing at the Annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival.
These cultural events are much more than entertainment and exhibition. They serve as touchpoints and training grounds for future generations of cultural practitioners. Participating in and experiencing Hawaii’s cultural events helps us understand that the native culture of these islands is alive and thriving, and that the cultures of those who later migrated to these shores add their brilliance to the dynamic, cosmopolitan Hawaii of today.