Flowers for King Kamehameha

The statue of King Kamehameha in Kapaau, Hawaii, is decorated with leis on his birthday
The statue of King Kamehameha in Kapaau, Hawaii, is decorated with leis on his birthday

June 11 was King Kamehameha Day in Hawaii, celebrating the birthday of the king who first united the Hawaiian Islands under one rule. The day is marked by parades and ceremonies in several places, including here in North Kohala, which is where King Kamehameha was born. The past couple of years, the ceremonies didn’t take place because of Covid restrictions, so this year’s event was the first since then.

I was working on the day, but after work I stopped by to see his statue, which was draped in leis during the ceremonies. It seemed like there was even more floral decoration this year than in previous events, making for a colorful spectacle. But even more striking than the color was the wonderful aroma from the profusion of plumeria flowers in the leis.

The leis are left in place for two or three days before they’re removed. Even when I was there on the first day, some of the flowers were starting to wilt.

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