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WedJul 5

National Hawaii Day – July 5, 2023

National Hawaii Day is observed annually every July 5 to celebrate becoming the 50th state of the U.S. However, statehood was officially granted on August 21, 1959. It’s not known why the holiday is held on July 5th. It holds the distinction of being one of the four states that were once independent nations along with California, Texas, and Vermont.

History of National Hawaii Day

Hawaii is located in Polynesia, 2,000 miles away from the mainland U.S. It’s the only state outside North America and the only one that’s an archipelago. It’s a land of active volcanoes, pristine beaches, and abundant flora and fauna. The Polynesians were the first to arrive on the islands using only the stars as their guide while navigating the ocean. In 1778, Captain James Cook landed on the island of Kauai. He was the first European to make contact with the islands, naming the archipelago the “Sandwich Islands” in honor of John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich. Only much later on would it be collectively called Hawaii, after its biggest island. Cook published several accounts of his voyages, which attracted other European and American visitors such as traders, other explorers, and whalers.

In 1795, all inhabited islands came under one ruler. King Kamehameha the Great established the House of Kamehameha, a dynasty that would rule for many years. The Kingdom of Hawaii was autonomous from 1810 to 1893 when it was overthrown by American and European landholders who had settled in the islands. They lived as an independent republic until August 12, 1898, when it was officially made a territory of the U.S.

Today, Hawaii boasts of being the most diverse state in the United States. It has the highest percentage of Asian Americans and the lowest number of White Americans of any state. Chinese, Filipinos, Puerto Ricans, and Japanese are just some of the races that call this lovely island home.

National Hawaii Day timeline

1866
Aloha, Mark

Mark Twain pays a visit and later writes about his exotic exploits for the Sacramento Union, igniting readers' curiosity about the island.

December 7, 1941
Surprise Attack

The Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, sending the U.S. into World War II.

1966
‘Tiny Bubbles’ is Released

Musician Don Ho’s song becomes synonymous with the Hawaiian sound and stays on the Billboard Top 20 for nearly a year.

1978
Speak Hawaiian

Alongside English, Hawaiian is added to the Constitution of the State of Hawaii as an official state language.

National Hawaii Day FAQs

What does ‘Aloha’ mean?

It’s a greeting that means both ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye.” For native Hawaiians, it has a deeper cultural meaning as it defines a spiritual force that holds together man’s existence.

Is there a Hawaiian flag?

It’s the only state flag in the U.S. to include a foreign country’s flag in its design. The U.K.’s Union Jack is a mark of the Royal Navy’s historical relationship with the Hawaiian Kingdom of King Kamehameha I.

What is Hawaii most famous for?

Hawaii is known for its stunning beaches, volcano activities, tea, and water sports

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National Hawaii Day Activities

  1. Make leis

    The flower garland used as a token of greeting or farewell for visitors to the island can make a mindful craft project. Don’t have fresh flowers? Make some out of colored felt or construction paper.

  2. Learn to dance the hula

    Move to the hip-swaying beat of this traditional Hawaiian dance. Search online videos to follow at home. Better yet, sign up for a class with an instructor to show you the proper form.

  3. Throw a Hawaiian-themed party

    The dress code is Hawaiian shirts and flowers. Welcome guests with leis, and serve tropical drinks along with grilled seafood and meat. Make a playlist of songs with a Hawaiian theme like “Blue Hawaii” by Elvis Presley and the theme from “Hawaii 5-O” to get into the island spirit.

5 Fascinating Facts About Hawaii

  1. You can mail a coconut from here

    Dried out unhusked coconuts — some already decorated, some you can D.I.Y. — are sold ready for you to surprise someone in the post.

  2. Gambling is illegal

    Utah and Hawaii are the only U.S. states that prohibit gambling.

  3. It’s rabies-free

    Extremely strict quarantine laws are in place to keep it that way.

  4. All beaches are open to the public

    Both residents and tourists can enjoy the beaches anytime, including those located by resorts and hotels.

  5. It has its own time zone

    Hawaiian Standard Time runs two to three hours behind Pacific Standard Time and five to six hours behind Eastern Standard Time.

Why We Love National Hawaii Day

  1. It’s a cultural melting pot

    Racial or ethnic majorities don’t exist in Hawaii. Everyone is a minority!

  2. It’s a rainbow state—literally

    Aside from seeing rainbows on car license plates and drivers’ licenses everywhere, chances are you’ll get to see a real-life rainbow. If you’re really lucky, you may even see one once a day!

  3. It embodies the ‘Aloha Spirit’

    Hawaiian Spirit Law or the Aloha Spirit is the balance between the heart and mind within a person. It’s the practice of spreading good feelings towards others. It extends warmth and caring to others without asking for anything in return.

National Hawaii Day dates

YearDateDay
2023July 5Wednesday
2024July 5Friday
2025July 5Saturday
2026July 5Sunday
2027July 5Monday

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