Hawaii's culture, customs, traditions and aloha spirit will be showcased and celebrated in one of Hawaii's most-prominent events, the Aloha Festivals.
This Year's Theme
The mission of the Aloha Festivals is to preserve and perpetuate Hawaiian culture and to celebrate the diverse customs, traditions and aloha spirit of Hawaii. This year's Festival theme is Ho‘onui ‘Ike, meaning "to increase knowledge, enrich."
The annual theme is chosen carefully and this year's theme also honors the 125th anniversary of Kamehameha Schools and the legacy of its founder, Ke Ali‘i Bernice Pauahi Bishop.
Here is how the festival organizers explain their choice of this year's theme.
The acquisition of knowledge, whether through formal education, one-on-one mentoring, personal quest or other means, is empowering. Knowledge is like a kukui lamaku, a torch that glows brightly, lighting the pathway toward success and well-being.
This year, Aloha Festivals acknowledges the 125th anniversary of Kamehameha Schools, the noble legacy of Ke Ali'i Bernice Pauahi Bishop, great granddaughter of King Kamehameha I. Her vision for a vibrant Hawai'i glows brightly through commitment to education, productivity and pride in heritage.
"This year, we honor the Hawaiian value of ho‘onui ‘ike, which encourages people to value knowledge and wisdom in hopes of building a better future," said Paul Tomonari, co-chair of the Aloha Festivals board of directors. "The 2012 Aloha Festivals will explore new avenues to ho‘onui ‘ike throughout Hawai‘i with its cultural events during September."
Each Aloha Festivals event will capture ho‘onui ‘ike, both perpetuating Island culture and educating all who participate.
History of the Aloha Festivals
What is known today as Aloha Festivals was created in 1946 as Aloha Week, a cultural celebration of Hawaii's music, dance and history, intended to preserve the unique traditions of Hawaii. It took a year to plan the first Aloha Festivals, and in the fall of 1947 the festivities began. Since then, the celebration has expanded to include over 300 events on six Hawaiian islands over a two-month period. In 1991 the name of the celebration was changed to Aloha Festivals.
The Festivals now encompass all of the many and varied cultures of the people of Hawaii, be they Hawaiian, Japanese, Filipino or any other races that call Hawaii their home.
Each year, nearly 30,000 volunteers participate in the staging of the events, which are attended by nearly one million people, in what has been called "a festival truly of the people of Hawaii by the people of Hawaii."
Fall was chosen for the Aloha Festivals for two primary reasons; first to honor the makahiki, the ancient Hawaiian time of music, dance and feasting when war was not permitted, and second to attract visitors to the islands after the summer rush. Today, the celebration has become an island tradition.
The festivals are funded through appropriated funds from the Hawaii Tourism Authority, corporate sponsorships and private donations, as well as through the sale of Aloha Festivals power bands, ribbons and merchandise.
View our gallery of photos of the 2008 Aloha Festivals Floral Parade.
NEXT PAGE > 2012 Oahu Calendar of Events