Aloha, friends! June 21, 2023, is coming again, meaning it’s the summer solstice, or Ke Alanui Polohiwa, a Kāne in Hawaiian. This is the longest day of the year when the sun reaches its highest point in the sky and shines its light on us for over 13 hours.
The summer solstice is a time for many cultures worldwide, and Hawaii is no exception. In this article, we’ll tell you how to celebrate the summer solstice in Hawaii by learning about its significance in Hawaiian culture and enjoying some outdoor activities with honu or Hawaiian green sea turtles.
Hapaialii: A Heiau Aligned with the Sun
In ancient times, Hawaiians used the sun’s position to mark the seasons and plan their activities. They also built heiau, or temples, to honor their gods and ancestors. Some of these heiau were aligned with the solstices and equinoxes and served as calendars and observatories.
One of these heiau is Hapaialii, located on the Big Island near Keauhou Bay. This heiau was built in the 1400s, possibly as a place to honor alii (royalty) and as a seasonal calendar. It has been recently restored by a team of experts and volunteers, who made sure that the sun sets exactly on the corners of the heiau on the solstices and in the middle of the western wall on the equinoxes. You can visit this heiau and feel its mana (spiritual power) as you watch the sun dip into the ocean.
Honu: Hawaii’s Beloved Sea Turtles
Another reason to celebrate the summer solstice in Hawaii is honu or Hawaiian green sea turtles. These fantastic animals are one of Hawaii’s most cherished species and have a unique meaning in Hawaiian culture and history. Some Native Hawaiians believe they are aumakua or ancestral spirits and that they guard and guide their family. They are also associated with knowledge, good fortune, and longevity.
Honu is the world’s largest sea turtle species, reaching lengths of up to four feet and weighing more than 300 pounds. They are graceful swimmers, gentle baskers, and ancient symbols of wisdom and peace. But they are also endangered and face many threats from humans and nature.
How to Spot and Protect Honu
If you’re lucky enough to visit Hawaii, you might have the chance to see Honu in its natural habitat. Honu is often seen in shallow coastal areas, where they feed on algae and seagrasses. They also like to bask on sandy beaches or rocky shores, especially during summer.
If you encounter honu in Hawaii, please respect them and their environment. Here are some tips to follow:
Fun Things to Do on Summer Solstice in Hawaii
The summer solstice is a beautiful time to enjoy Hawaii’s natural beauty and cultural heritage. Whether you visit a heiau aligned with the sun, spot honu in their habitat, or simply soak up some sunshine on a beach, you’ll have a memorable experience that will make you appreciate Hawaii even more.
But if you’re looking for some more fun things to do on the summer solstice in Hawaii, here are some suggestions:
These are just some of the fun things to do during the summer solstice in Hawaii. No matter what you choose to do, you’ll have a blast celebrating this special day in paradise.
HAWAII PRIVATE TOURS
THINGS TO DO ON OAHU!