ll of the Hawaiian islands enthusiastically celebrate the Christmas holidays in all the same ways the Mainland USA does, but with a tropical and local twist. Nowhere is that more evident than on the island of O’ahu.
Honolulu Hale, the City Hall in downtown Honolulu, is the focal point for the decorating of O’ahu at Christmas time (hale, pronounced “hah-lay”, means “house” or “home”). And boy-oh-boy does the island get decorated! From little Hale’iwa on the north shore to sprawling Waikiki in the south; from rural Wai’anae on the ewa (west) side to urban Kaneohe and Kailua on the windward (east) side; from Pearl Harbor to Manoa Valley; from Barbers Point to Wahiawa: O’ahu likes to get dressed up for the holidays!
Where else would you find a giant barefoot Santa giving a shaka (better known outside of Hawai`i as a “hang loose” sign) with his wife Tutu Mele (formerly known as Mrs. Claus? You may notice that Tutu Mele is making a fashion statement by wearing a red mu’umu’u with a hibiscus design, a Hawaiian Heritage bracelet and wedding ring, a kukui nut lei, and a bright red hibiscus in her hair.)
This location is also where O’ahu kicks off its city-wide Honolulu City Lights Festival, starting with the official tree lighting ceremony featuring a 50-foot holiday tree on the lawn fronting of Honolulu Hale, food booths and keiki rides and culminating with an electric lights parade through downtown featuring buses, garbage trucks, cranes, and other hard-working vehicles decked out in thousands of lights (and how many cities of comparable size could draw 20,000 plus spectators to watch it?). The festival lasts all month long and includes many wonderful events.
Where else but Hawai’i would you find a children’s choir dressed in mu’umu’us performing at local malls and parks, a hula halau performing Christmas hulas, Grammy award winners singing Hawaiian/Christmas music outside, dressed in aloha wear — no jackets, no sequins, no breath steaming in the cold air?
Events in Hawai’i are held throughout the month, and you can find out about them on the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau’s Calendar of Events web page: http://calendar.gohawaii.com/
And for more information on how Hawai’i celebrates Christmas, visit Mele Kalikimaka from Hawai’i
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