Waimanalo Celebrates First Makahiki on November 20

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BY KAHU RYAN KALAMA – Waimanalo is having its first Makahiki this Saturday, November 20, 2010; 10 a.m. to 3 p..m. at Bellows Beach Park. The Waimānalo Makahiki Ceremonial and Invitational Tournament for Youth Organizations will take place at the Bellows Beach Park, possibly the oldest cultural site on Oahu. The admission and parking are free.

Makahiki was a traditional time when all wars and battles ceased. This Saturday the community and military come together to create Waimanalo’s first Makahiki in a place of cultural significance. We invite the public to join with us in this traditional event of procession and games dedicated to peace, excellence, and the celebration of Hawaiian culture.

The day’s activities include: Royal Order of Kamehameha procession; Ho’okupu presentation; Makahiki history presentation; Hawaiian competition games (‘Ulu Maika, Moa Pahe’e, ‘O’o Ihe, and Hukihuki); Hawaiian exhibition games (Hākā Moa and Kākā La’au); poi pounding; information booths; music; and much more.
SUPPORTERS: This celebration is a collaborative effort of Hawaiian Civic Clubs,

Royal Order of Kamehameha, City Parks & Recreation, Youth 2 Youth, Aloha Harvest, Hawai`i Maoli, Job Corps, Blanche Pope Elementary School, Waimānalo Youth and Family Collaborative, Ho`olu`a, Mālama O Ke Kai, Lo`i Farmers, Na Wa`a Lalani Kahuna o Pu`ukohola, St. Matthews, Bellows AFS, Marine Corps Training Bellows, Waimānalo Intermediate School, and Waimānalo Hawaiian Homelands Association. ‘Olelo Community Media, Healthy Hawaii Initiative, Good Beginnings Alliance, Waimanalo Youth & Family Collaborative, God’s Country, and HCAP Headstart.

The Makahiki season was the Ancient Hawaiian New Year festival, in honor of the god Lono. Lono, the god of agriculture and fertility, was honored to ensure peace and productivity. Makahiki was a holiday covering four consecutive lunar months, approximately from October or November through January or February (Hawaiian lunar months ‘Ikuwa to Ka’elo). Thus it might be thought of as including the equivalent of modern Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions.

Winter officially begins when the Pleiades star cluster, known in Hawaiian tradition as Makali’i, begins to rise at sunset and set at dawn and is visible most of the night. The Makali’i is much revered in the Hawaiian tradition as the place from which, according to legends, the first Hawaiian people came to Earth. To the Hawaiian people, the stars’ appearance in the night sky also signifies the beginning of the Makahiki, the most important holiday of the year. It is the traditional Hawaiian celebration of harvest, time of personal rest and spiritual and cultural renewal.

As the years’ harvest was gathered, tribute in the form of goods and produce were given to the chiefs from November through December. Various rites of purification and celebration also occurred in observance of the Makahiki season.

The Makahiki was a time when all wars and battles were ceased. Sporting competitions and contests between villages were organized and festive events commenced. It was a time of rest and renewal in preparation for the growing season.

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