Hawaii Fact 48 of 50: Hawaii Holidays

Hawaii observes all the standard US national holidays, plus they have additional days that are celebrated only in the 50th State. Personally, I think that’s a bit unfair that Hawaii residents live in a tropical paradise and have additional holidays. 😉  I’ll list the Hawaii state holidays when most public offices and some private companies are closed in observance.

Prince Kuhio Day – March 26th
This holiday celebrates the birth of Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole who was the last reigning prince in Hawaii. He later became a politician representing Hawaii in Washington even before Hawaii became a state. You might recall from an earlier fact in this series, that Prince Kuhio introduced the first statehood bill to Congress.
King Kamehameha Statue in Kapaau
King Kamehameha Day – June 11th
This holiday honors King Kamehameha, the first Hawaiian king to unite the islands under one rule. (See more on King Kamehameha Day.)

Statehood Day –  Third Friday of August
On August 21, 1959, Hawaii officially became a US State. This holiday is usually observed on the third Friday of August. What a neat coincidence that on the 50th anniversary of Statehood, the official day and the observed day are the same day this year!

Discoverer’s Day – Second Monday of October
Hawaii doesn’t officially honor Columbus Day and instead celebrates Discoverer’s Day on the same day. On this holiday, Hawaii recognizes the Polynesian discoverers of the Hawaiian Islands. (Note: Hawaii isn’t the only US State that has created a day in lieu of Columbus Day. See this link for more information.)

  1. Fact 48 lists Discoverer’s Day – Second Monday of October as a “holiday” in Hawaii. Not true. By state statute the day “shall be known as Discoverers’ Day…provided that this day is not and shall not be construed to be a state holiday.” State & county offices and libraries are open, buses run on a regular weekday schedule and you’d better feed the parking meters and stay away from tow-away zones, as on-street parking regulations are enforced.

    However, since the day is observed by the federal government as Columbus Day, there is no USPS mail delivery and federal offices and banks are not open.

    1. Ken – it is indeed a Hawaii holiday of sorts that’s not celebrated at any other state…e.g., no other state celebrates the Polynesian discoverers of Hawaii on this day.

      I do have friends that have that day off. Lucky for them!

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