King Kamehameha I Day

National and Public Holidays in Hawaii, USA State Holiday in Hawaii

King Kamehameha I Day is celebrated on the first Monday in August in Hawaii, USA.
Leis are placed on the statue of King Kamehameha Statue. Daniel Ramirez

When is King Kamehameha I Day?

How long until King Kamehameha I Day?
This holiday next takes place in 54 Days.
Dates of
Year Weekday Date
2020 Thursday
2019 Tuesday
2018 Monday
2017 Monday
2016 Saturday
1 Day
King Kamehameha ruled from 1790 and united the islands

King Kamehameha I Day is a state holiday in Hawaii on 11 June. If 11 June falls on a weekend, the nearest weekday will observed as a holiday.

It honours Kamehameha the Great, who unified the Kingdom of Hawai’i.

History of King Kamehameha I Day

There is some uncertainty as to when King Kamehameha was born with several years between 1736 and 1761 being proposed. What is known is that he was the son of a high chief of a tribe on Hawaii.

Kamehameha is noted for uniting the Hawaiian Islands in 1810 and becoming Hawaii’s first king. He ruled until his death in 1819.

King Kamehameha I established 'Ke Kānāwai Māmalahoe', or Law of the Splintered Paddle, which assured that every man, woman and child would be able to travel safely and in peace, with the right to 'lie down to sleep by the roadside without fear of harm'. This has become a model for modern human rights for the treatment of civilians during times of war. It comes from an incident when a fisherman hit the King with a paddle during a military expedition. Kamehameha ruled that the fisherman had only been protecting his land and family.

Kamehameha Day was established in 1872 by King Kamehameha V, the grandchild of Kamehameha, as a national holiday to honor the memory of Kamehameha.

All state and county offices on the Big Island and throughout the state will be closed on 11 June in observance of the holiday on Kamehameha Day.

Since 1901, it has been a tradition to drape leis (Hawaiian floral garlands) from the statues of the King on the islands.

There is also a floral parade that features a young man dressed in a replica of the king's ceremonial cloak and helmet. Other events include Hawaiian music, dance, and traditional arts and crafts.

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