Lonely Planet Writer

Hawaii’s largest festival, a cultural celebration of hula kicks off on the Big Island

The Merrie Monarch Festival, an annual celebration of hula and Hawaiian culture, will begin on 27 March in Hilo on the Big Island.

Hawaii’s Merrie Monarch Festival kicks off on the Big Island. Image by Joel / CC BY-SA 2.0

Featuring hula competitions, an arts and crafts fair and musical performances, the festival celebrates King David Kalākaua, a 19th-century monarch known for his patronage of the arts and revitalization of Hawaiian culture. For his actions, the king is known as the “Merrie Monarch.” The festival will wrap up with a parade through Hilo on 2 April. Read more: travelweekly.com