Another wonderful thing to keep in mind about visiting the Big Island in the summer is that summer is the season for cultural festivals. They happen all over the island, but the one that is closest to us here at Luana is the festival at Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, the City of Refuge National Park. This year it takes place over the weekend of June 27 and June 28. The 27th will be the craft-day and the 28th will have Hawaiian food-tasting. Usually the events open and close with a traditional ceremony, and there are lots of wonderful displays and activities to try like carving ipu (wooden gourds used like drums in hula), chanting, dancing, canoe rides, lei making, weaving, etc. Last year we were lucky enough to see children dance hula. It is a very special opportunity to see master craftsmen and women doing what they love, and to experience some native Hawaiian traditions in an extremely beautiful setting.
Here is the press release from Pu'uhonua o Honaunau. For more information, please visit their site: http://www.nps.gov/puho.
Pu`uhonua o Honaunau Celebrates
48th Annual Hawaiian Cultural Festival
Pu`uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park will be celebrating its 48th Anniversary and Annual Cultural Festival and on Saturday and Sunday, June 27 and 28 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. The theme is “Na Mea Hana Lima na Kupuna” -the working hands of our elders. Many activities are planned for both days including a royal court procession, cultural demonstrations and hula. Saturday features canoe rides and Sunday includes a hukilau and Hawaiian food tasting.
We welcome everyone to join us in experiencing the history and culture of Hawai`i and the unique Honaunau area. Bring your family and friends and spend a day in the park. Come prepared for hot weather; bring water, sturdy walking shoes, hat and sunscreen. Park fees are waived for the weekend of this special event.