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Hawaii Lantern Floating Ceremony

The world famous lantern floating ceremony is a special day dedicated to honoring loved ones who have passed away and to generate hope toward the future.  Held annually on Memorial Day, the ceremony sees tens of thousands of people pack Ala Moana beach to release personally decorated lanterns out into the ocean. The ceremony was originally started in Japan.  It is believed that the tradition will help guide the souls of the departed on to the spirit world.  Traditionally, Japanese believe that all people come from water and the lanterns represent the human body returning to water.  The ceremony was bought to Hawaii to coincide with the American tradition of remembering and honoring veterans on Memorial Day. Lighting candles for...

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Office Of Hawaiian Affairs Named Trustee Of Marine Monument

In a tremendous move that has strengthened the regions' efforts for oceanic conservation, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) has been appointed as a co-trustee of the world's largest marine conservation area, the Papahanaumokukea Marine National Monument.  But what is the the Papahanaumokukea Marine National Monument (PMNM) and why is it so important? The PMNM is one of the largest marine conservation areas on Earth. It encompasses an area of over 139,000 square miles of the Pacific Ocean and is located in the Northwestern region of the Hawaiian Archipelago. It is at least twice the size of Texas and was expanded in 2016 by then US President Barack Obama.   The diverse ecosystem within the moment houses many unique species of...

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Beloved Hawaiian Musician Eddie Kamae Passes Away At Age 89

Legendary composer and performer Eddit Kamae has passed away peacefully today with his wife by his side his famous song, ‘E Ku’u Morning Dew’ playing in the background. Eddie was born in 1927 and spent his whole life on the Hawaiian Islands.  His grandmother was a dancer for King David Kalakaua’s court.  He strongly believed that the Hawaiian culture should be taught and celebrated through music and through his dedication to the cause, he became a key figure in the Hawaiian cultural renaissance.  He famously taught himself how to play the ukulele after his brother found the instrument abandoned on a bus and bought it home with him.   He was so gifted that he formed a band with Shoi Ikemi...

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How Did Hawaii Get Its Name?

Hawaii is an ancient and deeply spiritual place so unsurprisingly, the origin of its name is also shrouded in mystery.  This brief article explored three possible explanations of how the Hawaiian Islands got their name.  Although Captain Cook famously ‘discovered’ Hawaii, research proves that there is much more to the Hawaiian story than this commonly parroted narrative. One popular theory suggests that the name Hawaii comes from the combination of words “Hawa” and “ii”.  Hawa means a traditional homeland, and ii means small and ranging.  Therefore, Hawaii means a small or new homeland.  Another plausible theory is that the tropical islands are named after the traditional discover of the islands, Hawaii Loa.  Hawaii Loa was a Polynesian legend and hero...

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History of Hawaii Kona Coffee

The story of Hawaii’s most famous export begins way back in 1828.  An American Missionary named Reverend Samuel Ruggles planted the very first coffee tree in Kona as an ornamental plant, originally taken from a tree in nearby Oahu.  These coffee trees were grown by none other than the Governor of Oahu who had carried them back from a trip to Brazil.  Hawaii was no stranger to coffee by this time, but this was the beginning of the blend we know as Kona Typica – coffee Arabica.  It took a while for farmers to be convinced that coffee would be a viable agricultural commodity.  As a result, it wasn’t until the late 1800s after the California Gold Rush, that the...

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