King Kamehameha I Day in Hawaii in 2024

King Kamehameha I Day in Hawaii in 2024
Flower lei draped on the statue of King Kamehameha at Aliʻiolani Hale in downtown Honolulu.
  How long until King Kamehameha I Day?
King Kamehameha I Day
  Dates of King Kamehameha I Day in Hawaii
2025 Wed, Jun 11Government Holiday
2024 Tue, Jun 11Government Holiday
2023 Mon, Jun 12Government Holiday
2022 Fri, Jun 10Government Holiday
2021 Fri, Jun 11Government Holiday

King Kamehameha ruled from 1790 and united the islands

When is King Kamehameha I Day?

King Kamehameha I Day is a state holiday in Hawaii on June 11th. If June 11th falls on a weekend, the nearest weekday will be 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. The name “Kamehameha” means “the lonely one.”

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 great-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 June 11th in observance of the holiday on Kamehameha Day. Public transport may run on a modified schedule.

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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