Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas in Hawaii


Christmas in Hawaii

It's always a wonderful surprise celebrating the holidays in Hawaii. There is so much of the traditional and spiritual and then mixed in with quirky and very local style celebrations.

Of course we have our typical Christmas parades with the horse continents, bands and civic groups and then there are the ukulele bands and Hare Krishna following as if it was an ordinary parade procession.

Christmas fairs are a very popular way of purchasing hand made crafts, artwork and gifts locally and supporting artisans and the entire community. Besides, its fun bumping into someone at any of these fairs which will always happen.

Pageants, Nutcracker and local Hawaiian performers typically visit all the towns and cities with their Christmas programs. It's a wonderful way to get into the spirit and enjoy some local entertainment. Above is a shot with our local men's chorus performing at one of the many outreach programs we sing and spread some holiday cheer.

What's a Christmas celebration without a local gathering done in a typical potluck affair, it's always a real mix of different cuisines representing the many nationalities that call the islands home. You may end up sampling some Kailua pork, with won ton pupus, chicken adobo and haupia which is usually popping up at each potluck gathering.

Of course each Christmas party has a kanikapila or jam session with someone's uncle playing ukulele or guitar, singing Hawaiian songs or dancing some hula like this party I danced below with my hula sisters.

These are typical Christmas festivities throughout the various islands, these are just a sampling of the activities that I participated in during the holidays. I hope you also had a wonderful holiday and a brilliant New Years ahead in 2014.

Thanks so much for visiting and supporting my Sari blog, aloha!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas parades in Hawaii

Christmas parades in Hawaii

It's already that time of year when every community or town throughout the Hawaiian Islands celebrate the Christmas holidays with a big old fashion Christmas parade. The wonderful thing about these local events is seeing all your friends and family participate in some form or another, a civic group, hobby or special interest -  everyone is wearing a Christmas banner where they feel a community spirit to be active and share their aloha.

One of the crazy and fun Christmas events that I regularly attend is the Pahoa holiday parade which is truly unique and zany at the same time. You'll never know what floats or unusual marchers will be walking down the parade route every year, it's always a very strange and wacky gathering at the same time, which is how we like it in Pahoa town, the largest town in the Puna district of East Hawaii.

Even the Hawaii county band looked very festive in their Christmas white and red, it's nice to see that they are still active in the community and funded through the county to be present and available for various functions around the island.


It's fun seeing the local ukulele marching performers doing their thing, and it looks like it's now spanning all different age groups that are getting into playing and also performing at public venues like the Pahoa holiday parade....alright keiki (kids) love the aloha wear!

I don't know why the sour face on this little guy, I asked some friends to caption this picture and the best one I got as a response that really fit well was "On the wagon for the Holidays"                       



I think this is the only holiday parade that I ever see a Hare Krishna contingent participate in, but that wouldn't be unusual for our local Pahoa parade. Diversity and being unique is actually celebrated at this Christmas parade.



Here are some more highlights of this years parade in Pahoa town




Gotta have the doggies dressed up in their crazy outfits that I'm sure they really hate, but the photo ops are always fun to do. Here are a few good ones with our furry friends below.

And then there are the strange animals and other participants that attend this yearly event below.

Of course Elvis is going to make a presence in his supped up Cadillac

What do you get with Samba dancers and tropical Christmas days....of course rainbow colors and crazy wigs to shimmy in...lets go girls - strut your stuff!

Kids and horses, that's always a treat at this parade.


Well this is a switch usually Santa comes through in a big yellow fire truck or occasionally a huge canoe. But this time, he is sporting is a matching mustang convertible with hot hostesses driving and waving....well that's a pretty cool switch Santa, love the new look!



Well this may be similar or odd to your own local Christmas any case that's how we celebrate a local style Christmas parade in Hawaii, enjoy!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Hawaiian adventure

Adventure in Hawaii

I love to travel and have an active life on the Big Island of Hawaii. Hawaii Island is packed with amazing places to discover and it's filled with adventure, recreation and self-discovery. If you wake up early before the sun rises, you can easily walk to see live lava flowing into the ocean continuously from Kilaeau where it begins out to the cliffs at Kalapana. Or, you can also see new lava via ocean cruise boats which almost touch the cliffs where the lava oozes and dramatically enters the ocean. 

It's very easy to enjoy a day on the water or in the ocean from surfing or paddling, snorkeling above coral filled with tropical fishes, sailing in aqua colored bays or even swimming with the giant manta rays feeding on plankton. Even exploring inland to visit some of the amazing waterfalls that dramatically fall into cold and deep pools below are fun to discover and enjoy a refreshing swim below.

I find that the choices are endless here for adventure and only left to my imagination and interest based on what's happening in the calendar or when friends call me up on a whim to do something interesting recreation-wise. It seems like every day there are so many options for new personal discoveries and visiting different parts of the island which I haven't had the time to explore and spend more time in the area. This is what adventure means to me personally, having an open mind, visiting new places in my area and trying new activities that add to my appreciation and love of the aina (land) and this entire island.

Competition and nominations

This post is being submitted for a competition on What Adventure means to you, it is sponsored by the folks at Southern Cross Travel Insurance. To participate visit their site at As part of the competition I am inviting two other bloggers to participate below:

Mary Chong at Calculated Travel

Marysia Maciocha at My Travel Affairs


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Beautiful Hula at the Aloha Festivals

The start of the month long hula festival began with the beautiful all day hula festival at the Liliuokalani gardens to celebrate the birthday of queen Liliuokalani. It was a grand gesture with most of the major hula halau in East Hawaii performing a group hula performance with a orchid drop from a helicopter flying around the park.

It was a fun filled day with Taiko drummers, Japanese tea ceremonies, singing, chanting and of course plenty of hula dancing from various hula halau.

Here are some highlights of the days events






Here are some short videos that I took of one of the Hilo groups that form a more traditional Kahiko performance for the public to enjoy. It actually turned out good - hope you enjoy it.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sunset sail in Hawaii

Sunset sail in Hawaii

Sailing in Hawaii is always fun especially for sunset cruises in different parts of the island. I had a chance to sail with our photo club and the commodore of the Hilo sailing club for the evening cruise on his beautiful trimaran. Surprisingly getting out of the slip and through the channel was relatively quick motoring out and with a little breeze, we were able to hoist the mail sails quickly.

In no time we were cruising through the bay and quickly put up the second sail or jib in the front which made the boat cruise even faster. Passing through Coconut island, the main landmark in Hilo bay, it was fun seeing this from the water and cruising around it. In no time we were able to cross from on point of the bay all the way to the other side in no time. With hardly any waves we were able to glide outside of the breakers and pass directly into the ocean.

Passing into Reeds bay, the clouds were starting to turn dark and gloomy, rainy skies were not going to dampen our sunset cruise so we head back through the harbor into the main part of Hilo bay.

Here are some more highlights of the evening cruise and sunset.




Head past the break wall separating Hilo from the open ocean waters, we head out along the Hamakua shorelines.


Evening and our sunset skies


The skies are dark and lit up magically with gold, red and orange hues against the black, despite the gloomy skies the water is smooth like glass and we cruise safely along the coastline. It was a nice pleasant sail and the cloudy skies actually added some dramatic light to the sunset. Still beautiful don't you agree?

What a wonderful cruise, I loved it and hope to be out on the water more often especially here in beautiful Hawaii!

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