(BIVN) – Lei and traditional hoʻokupu surrounded the statue of King Kamehameha in Hilo on Friday, in quiet commemoration of the annual state holiday.
Earlier this year, the King Kamehameha Celebration Commission announced the cancellation of all King Kamehameha Celebration Commission parade events statewide, due to the continuing threat and uncertainties surrounding COVID-19. It was the second Kamehameha holiday to be impacted by global pandemic.
Statewide lei draping ceremonies were also cancelled. However, private ceremonies were set to take place in Hilo, Kohala and Honolulu. The ceremonies were closed to the public.
“The decision to cancel these major, statewide events was made with the health and safety of our island communities and kūpuna in mind,” said Kainoa Daines, Chair of the King Kamehameha Celebration Commission, at the time the cancellations were announced. “While we are hopeful that the worst of the COVID-19 health crisis is behind us, we feel it prudent to cancel these events that draw large crowds to both prepare for and attend. This allows all involved in King Kamehameha Celebration festivities across the state to focus on matters important to health, welfare, and economy. We look forward to a return to in-person festivities commemorating and celebrating King Kamehameha I in 2022.”
The 2021 theme for the King Kamehameha Celebration was “Nā ‘Āina Hoʻopulapula: Celebrating a Century of Prince Kūhiōʻs Legacy”, highlighting Hawaiian Homestead Lands.
Next year, 2022, will mark the 150th anniversary of the Kamehameha Day Holiday in Hawaiʻi.