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Unlike usual celebrations, private ceremony is held to honor King Kamehameha

Published: Jun. 11, 2021 at 7:12 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 10:23 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In honor of King Kamehameha Day, a small lei draping ceremony was held Friday afternoon at Aliiolani Hale.

Unlike pre-pandemic celebrations that often drew hundreds of people, the event was closed to the public as long strands of fragrant and vibrant lei were placed on the King Kamehameha statue in downtown Honolulu.

The lei were placed manually instead of the usual help from fire trucks.

Although this year’s celebrations were smaller, those who attended were still awestruck by the ceremony.

“I’ve seen it on Facebook or on the news and it just looks amazing, but it’s even more awesome in person to see all the hands and all the beautiful lei and just everyone working together,” said Joelle Lilinoe Quindica, who attended the lei draping ceremony.

Furthermore, although the pandemic changed normal celebrations, those who were at the private ceremony said it was still important to honor the monarch.

“Usually, the festivities are a lot larger and we would normally have a parade on Saturday,” said Jacob Aki of Hale O Na Alii O Hawaii. “It’s important that we still come to honor our great chief who united our islands in 1810.”

Along with the draping of lei on the King Kamehameha statue, those at the event also presented Hookupu, or ceremonial offerings, to honor the founder and first ruler of the Kingdom of Hawaii.

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