In the Hawaiian calendar, a year is divided into two seasons: Kau, the warmer dry season which lasts for eight lunar months and Hoʻoilo, the cooler wet season which lasts for four lunar months. The arrival of Hoʻoilo season is marked by the first appearance of the Makali'i or Pleiades, a blue cluster of stars in the eastern horizon after the sunset. This usually happens on Nov, 17th of every year. After confirming a thin crest of the Hilo moon, the first phase of a new moon, slits into the night sky, it is official.
During this time of year, we are gifted with more rain. Instead of warm-colored foliage covering the hills and mountains, in Hawaii, we welcome new growth sprouting out from the soil, turning all the islands ever greener. Streams become more alive, and ponds invite more Koloa (Hawaiian ducks) with abundant water. Ancient Hawaiians planted taro, banana, and sweet potato in this season, being grateful for Lono, the god of harvest, rain and fecundity.
The journey of the ‘Ulu (breadfruit) to the Hawaiian Islands began as early as 300 A.D. Polynesian people traveled the Pacific by way of their mighty canoes, and the ‘Ulu was the perfect staple food to keep them company during these long sea voyages. An old double-hulled canoe boasted great storage rooms where pigs, dogs and even fowl were the guests onboard. And this was also the perfect place to store the ‘Ulu. Experienced Polynesian seafarers sailed thousands of miles with a solid stash of cut, dried, and fermented ‘Ulu that could last up to three months! It’s no wonder that it was also known as a “canoe plant”.
Originally from Papua New Guinea, the ‘Ulu traveled greatly beyond the Pacific on the ships of the Western explorers as well. Their voyages traced over the strands of precious little Pacific islands where Polynesians had been traveling for thousands of years, and then reached as far as the Caribbean and Africa.
The Hawaii Mamo bird is a tiny black honeycreeper with golden yellow feather accents on its shoulder, tail coat and legs. Because of its deeper hue of yellow, Mamo’s yellow feathers were much more valued and used to plait the magnificent feathered ornaments which were reserved only for the ali‘i (chief) and high-ranking warriors in Hawai‘i.
Endemic to the Island of Hawai‘i, the bird is now extinct due to the change of their habitat. Some reports indicate that the last time the Mamo was observed, was in Kaumana (Hilo) in 1895.
Did you know that The Honolulu Zoo is the only zoo in the United States that originated in a King’s grant of royal lands to the people?
Did you know that Diamond Head was the first United States military reservation in Hawaiʻi with Fort Ruger being built directly in the interior of the crater?
Lēʻahi otherwise known as Diamond Head is one of Oʻahu’s defining features that tourists flock to year after year. The crater was given the name Diamond Head by British sailors who thought they had discovered diamonds on the crater’s slopes in the 19th century, however these so-called “diamonds” were shiny olivine that turned out to have no monetary value.
Formed more than 100,000 years ago, the crater was used as a strategic military lookout since the early 1900’s and was named a National Natural Monument in 1968. These days, the crater is home to one of Oahu’s most popular hiking destinations and one of the most iconic landmarks to come out of Hawaii.
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Affectionately called "The First Lady of Waikīkī", this iconic resort embraces true Hawaiian hospitality.
Opening on March 11, 1901, the Moana was the first hotel to call the beautiful and iconic Waikīkī home. Rested upon land that was once home to Hawaiian royalty, the Moana became the center of Waikīkī's growing popularity...
Naupaka is a shrub found in the mountains or near the shores of Hawaiʻi beaches that bears glossy green leaves and white flowers that resemble only half of a flower. The legend of these half-flowers come from Kauaʻi and honors the love between two young students, Nanau and Kapaka.
Nanau and Kapaka were haumāna, students, of a hula hālau who were expected to memorize long chants and dances as well as obey strict kapu (prohibitions) and protocols.