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World Hula Week (Merrie Monarch festival)

Swing into the vibrant culture of Hawaii during World Hula Week! Celebrate the legacy of King David Kalākaua in the Merrie Monarch Festival.
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March 31
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United States

Get ready to sway to the rhythm of the islands and immerse yourself in a vibrant Hawaiian tradition during World Hula Week starting on March 31! This amazing event includes a series of activities that last all the way through Easter Sunday and the rest of the following week. Also well-known as the Merrie Monarch Festival, this annual celebration was first initiated in 1963 to perpetuate, preserve, and promote the art of hula and the Hawaiian culture. Named in honor of King David Kalākaua, known as the Merrie Monarch for his love of joyful elements of life, music, and dance, this event embodies his vision and the vibrant spirit of Hawaii itself. So get your best grass skirt ready and let's celebrate the rich history and cultural significance of hula!

History of World Hula Week (Merrie Monarch festival)

World Hula Week (Merrie Monarch festival) Dates

World Hula Week (Merrie Monarch festival) Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1874</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>King David Kalākaua Reigns</div><div class='timeline-text'>King David Kalākaua, known as the Merrie Monarch, began his reign over the Hawaiian Kingdom, promoting Hawaiian arts, culture, and hula.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1883</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>First Merrie Monarch Festival</div><div class='timeline-text'>The first Merrie Monarch Festival was held on King Kalākaua's 50th birthday. This was not a hula competition but a celebration of the King's life.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1963</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Festival Re-established </div><div class='timeline-text'>The Merrie Monarch Festival was re-established in Hilo, Hawaii to boost tourism, initially featuring parades, pageants, and a small hula show.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1971</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Hula Competition Begins</div><div class='timeline-text'>The hula competition, which has become the highlight of the Merrie Monarch Festival, was added to the event's program of activities.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1980</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Becomes World-Renowned Festival</div><div class='timeline-text'>By the 1980s, the Merrie Monarch Festival gains international recognition and becomes a key event in perpetuating and fostering Hawaiian culture.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2018</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>World Hula Week Recognition</div><div class='timeline-text'>The festival's week-long duration is recognized worldwide as World Hula Week, starting each year on March 31.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate World Hula Week (Merrie Monarch festival)

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Learn Hula Dancing</h3><p class='facts-text'>During the week of the festival, many instructors offer online classes. Learn the basic steps of hula and feel the rhythm of the music. Feel the aloha spirit as you sway and twirl to the beats.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Organise a Hula Dance Party</h3><p class='facts-text'>Invite friends and family to join you in an evening of hula dancing. Transform your backyard into a luau with some Hawaiian decor and tropical foods. Include a hula hoop contest for added fun.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Dress in Traditional Hawaiian Attire</h3><p class='facts-text'>Embrace Hawaiian culture by dressing in traditional outfits such as aloha shirts and muumuus. Don't forget your lei and maybe even a grass skirt. Bonus points for sandals!</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Watch the Merrie Monarch Festival Online</h3><p class='facts-text'>Stream it live or watch recordings of previous festivals online. Experience the performances, elaborate costumes, and lush hula pageantry from the comfort of your home.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Cook a Hawaiian Feast</h3><p class='facts-text'>Prepare traditional Hawaiian cuisine to enjoy while celebrating. Meals could include staples like laulau (pork wrapped in taro leaves), poke (raw fish salad), and haupia (coconut pudding). Don't forget a refreshing glass of POG (passion, orange, guava) juice to round out the meal.</p></div></div>

Why We Love World Hula Week (Merrie Monarch festival)

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It Celebrates the Rich Hawaiian Tradition</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>World Hula Week is a unique opportunity for people all over the world to gain a deeper understanding of Hawaii's rich cultural heritage and the expressive art of hula. It provides a platform for us to engage with and appreciate the customs and traditions of the beautiful islands.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It Encourages Participation and Learning</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Whether you're watching the Merrie Monarch Festival online, learning hula dance steps via tutorials, or cooking traditional Hawaiian dishes, the holiday encourages active participation. It’s not just about observing, it’s about immersing oneself in the culture and gaining enriching experiences and knowledge.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It Promotes Fun and Togetherness</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>World Hula Week fosters the spirit of communal enjoyment. From organizing a hula dance party to dressing up in traditional Hawaiian attire, the holiday provides great opportunities for family and friends to come together, have fun and bond over shared activities that revolve around the vibrant Hawaiian culture.</p></div></div>

5 Unexpected Facts About World Hula Week

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>1</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>It's Interestingly Named After a Merry Monarch</h3><p class='facts-content'>The festival is named in honour of King David Kalākaua, known as the Merrie Monarch, who is celebrated for his patronage of the arts and is credited with restoring many Hawaiian cultural traditions, including hula.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>2</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>All Participants Learn Specific Chants in Ancient Hawaiian</h3><p class='facts-content'>Participants are required to learn and perform certain chants in the ancient Hawaiian language, providing them an opportunity to deeply understand and express the culture and tradition of Hawaii.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>3</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Strict Adherence to Tradition is Followed in Costumes</h3><p class='facts-content'>The festivals' participants pay respect and stick strictly to traditional Hawaiian costume designs that have been passed down for generations, seeing in it a way to maintain the authenticity of the art form.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>4</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>A Notable Celebration of Gender Equality</h3><p class='facts-content'>The festival showcases both Wahine (female) and Kāne (male) hula divisions. In ancient times, men were the primary performers of hula. The equal representation is a progressive step displaying cultural evolution.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>5</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Scholarships are Given to Encourage Cultural Preservation</h3><p class='facts-content'>Each year, scholarships are awarded to Hawaii residents who are participants of the festival. The intention behind these scholarships is to further the recipients' education in Hawaiian language, culture and arts, thus promoting the continuation of these traditions.</p></div></div>

World Hula Week (Merrie Monarch festival) FAQs

World Hula Week (Merrie Monarch festival) Dates







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