Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas in Hawaii

Christmas was not celebrated in Hawaii until the missionaries showed up in the 1820’s, however, the Hawaiians traditionally celebrated the season with a festival called Makahiki.  The Makahiki festival started when the cluster of stars known as the Pleiades appeared in the night sky and lasted several months. The festival was celebrated with hula, songs, feasts, sports competitions and was normally a time of peace.  In 1856, King Kamehameha IV declared Christmas to be a national day of Thanksgiving in Hawaii.

Now days the Christmas season is the start of “high season” in Hawaii, a 90 day period from December 15th though March 15th.   During high season, hotels and other tourist businesses double or triple their prices. We are careful to avoid being stung by the special tourist prices that are so prevalent during the holiday season. Yesterday,  for example, we noticed local avocados selling for $2.89 a pound at the local grocery store, which makes a large avocado about $7; normally they sell for $2 a piece.  

The good side of the Christmas season in Hawaii are the colorful decorations in the stores and hotel lobbies.  The tourists seem cheerful and relaxed basking in the warm tropical sun and playing in the ocean.  Of course, the local businesses and farmers are also cheerful during this season and excited by the throngs of visitors to the island.  All the communities on the islands celebrate with parades, holiday lights, hula presentations, and festivals during this season and the fantastic weather makes it easy to have fun and get into the spirit.

Where ever you are, we hope you are having a wonderful Christmas season.

Mele Kalikimaka! 

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