Mele Kalikimaka 2007

I’ll be traveling back to the mainland so I won’t be on Kaua’i for Christmas, but I did get to see some of the season’s local events.

First off, the Light Parade in Lihue on December 7 was cancelled due to rain. I suppose with all the preparation it takes, they couldn’t just hold it another night. You can see my pictures from last year. I think there is another, smaller light parade in Waimea town, but it’s too far to drive with a toddler in the evening, so I don’t know how it went.

Later that week, there was the Kaua’i High School Chorus’ winter concert. The high school in Lihue has two singing groups, the Singers pictured below and the Chorus. I wish I got a picture of the Chorus, because the women were wearing solid white and red mu’umu’u (aka mumu), the long flowing gowns made popular during the Victorian monarchy period.


The program included traditional pieces such as Haydn’s Gloria, and to my great delight, some in Hawaiian. Even though I’m a neophyte, I love choral music, especially at Christmas time. I also think traditional pieces in Hawaiian have a special significance. Historically, the Hawaiians only had chants, not music, and the melody of hymns with words translated by the missionaries was one factor that drew them into the first churches. So for me, religious music in Hawaiian is a look back into the past to when western and Hawaiian cultures first became meshed together.

So it was a real treat to hear a version of Handel’s Messiah in Hawaiian. The choral director, David Conrad, explained that the Messiah in Hawaiian had never been published, but he found the translation on a program from a Kapa’a school concert in the 50’s. I looked on the internet, and it seems there used to be an annual performance of the Messiah in Hawaiian (in Honolulu), so it’s not unknown. There was a performance again this year, but the article doesn’t mention whether it was sung in Hawaiian.

Anyways, I recorded the first minute of the Messiah sung in Hawaiian–that is unfortunately all my camera would record. It is titled Ka Nani O Ka Haku and translated by David Kalama, according to the program. Click here to play the music file in a new window or browser tab.

They did light the county building despite the weather, and we went to see all the decorations the following weekend. Santa was there as well, but our daughter is only 2 and is still afraid of him. If you’re on Kaua’i, the decorations inside the County Building will be open from 6pm to 8pm every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through December 30th. The trees on the plaza in front of the building are lit up like last year as well.


Just outside the door, a Hawaiian Snowman is staying cool dancing the hula:


Inside the theme is that Santa’s “Gone Kauaian:”


Other than this display where Santa’s surfboard is being pulled by roosters, it was not particularly Kauaian:


It was however, definitely Hawaiian:


As every year, the display focuses on the homemade Christmas decorations of Auntie Josie, a Kekaha resident who filled her home with decorations every year and invited the public. When her husband died and she could no longer put on the display, it moved to the County Building for all to enjoy. Last year, some of the decorations were looking worn, but this year they were all spruced up, and volunteers contributed new ones.

I particularly like this Filipino Parol, which, as the little sign says, is a traditional Filipino Christmas decoration representing the Christmas Star. This particular one was made in 2006 by Allan Villaflor in commemoration of the centennial of the arrival of Filipinos in Hawaii:


Auntie Josie’s decorations often recycled everyday items such as bottle caps. My favorite is this wreath using six-pack rings, they look exactly the opposite of trash now:


The cane train was again the children’s favorite display, though they probably didn’t notice the Christmas tree made of Spam-brand cans:


Another new display was these nutcracker dolls, one pair dressed as old Hawaiians, the other as “new” Hawaiians:


So now I wish you all a Mele Kalikimaka e Ha’oli Makahiki Hou (Merry Christmas and Happy New Year).

Printed from: http://great-hikes.com/blog/mele-kalikimaka-2007/.
© 2017.

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