In April, see champion hula dancers at the Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo. For two days, join over 5000 attendees in a large auditorium as you cheer on hula halau (hula troupes) as they compete in what is considered to be the most prestigious hula competition celebrated worldwide. Other spring celebrations include: Honolulu Festival (Oahu), Waimea Town Celebration (Kauai), and Maui Steel Guitar Festival (Maui).
Festivals are a great way to experience the diverse cultures and heritage that makes Hawaii so special. From listening to Karaoke and K-pop during the Korean Festival to making a fragrant lei chain during the Lei Day festival, you’ll find our festivals have something for everyone.
Practically every festival includes food, dancing and a congenial party atmosphere. Whether you are into watching a procession of colorful floats pass by, discovering new flavors, making new friends, or learning new crafts, you are sure to have a good time.
July: Koloa Plantation Days festival on Kauai is a 10 day commemoration of the immigrants from Europe and Asia who contributed to Hawaii’s traditions, music and food. It features a parade, food, games and activities from those cultures. Olukai Hoolaulea (Maui), Lei Day (Oahu), and Kamehameha Festival (Hawaii Island), are some of the many other summer festivals.
Feel the aloha in September during the Aloha Festivals on all Hawaiian Islands. The week-long festivities are the largest celebration of Hawaiian arts and culture. Oahu has the largest celebration in comparison to the rest of the other islands. There, people gather to eat, play games, listen to live music and watch colorful floats travel by on horseback.
If you are in Honolulu in November, check out the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF). For 10 days during HIFF, you can watch films from all over the world.
Can’t make it to Waikiki for the Aloha Festival? No worries. It is celebrated on all 4 islands. Oahu’s just happens to be the biggest.
Experience other cultures in Honolulu. The Korean festival in July showcases K-Pop and K-Drama stars, Chinatown has a vibrant Chinese New Year Festival and the Okinawan Festival features traditional Okinawan food and crafts
Maui has foodie friendly festivals that will make you say ono (delicious!). Check out the Kapalua Wine and Food Festival. It features cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, and a gala with many culinary delights.
Oahu’s festivals are atmospheric. Dance in the streets during one of Waikiki’s hoolaulea or block parties. And honor the memory of the deceased by lighting paper lanterns and watching them float out on the sea at the Lantern Floating Hawaii ceremony.
Hawaii Island is where food, history and culture meet. Watch hula dancers at the Merrie Monarch Festival, try tasty brews and eats at the Kona Brewers Festival, and learn about Kona’s coffee heritage during the weeklong events of the Kona Coffee Festival.
Kauai’s festivals are as charming as the island itself. Taste unusual coconut foods at the Coconut Festival in Kapaa or picnic and cheer on hula dancers with 500 new friends at the Eo E Emalani festival.
"There's no better way to explore Hawaii than attending Hawaii's largest block party, and eating your way through and celebrating all things Hawaiian on the streets of Waikiki."