The Best Festivals to Experience in Oahu, Hawaii
Oahu is one of Hawaii’s major islands, and planning a vacation to this island is a dream many travelers have. With its stunning beaches, scenic landscapes, lush greeneries, tasty meals, and friendly locals, Oahu is undoubtedly one of the best places to run when you need to unwind.
Oahu is known to have the most activities versus the neighboring islands. Oahu excursion options around the island are varied based on what you are looking for. These tours enable you to see the beauty of Oahu like no other.
These are not the only things Oahu has to offer, though. The gathering place is also home to many fun and exciting festivals.
Check out our list of the best festivals in Oahu.
Festivals in Oahu, Hawaii
Hawaii is known as the Aloha state, and with good reason. It’s a place where people come to relax and enjoy an easy life – one that’s filled with festivals where you can get to know more about how the local people live.
Here are some of them:
January: New Year’s Ohana Festival
The New Year’s Ohana Festival takes place at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii. Food booths and activities will be in the Cultural Center and Moiliili Field. Visitors can also enjoy many live entertainment and cultural demonstrations throughout the day.
More than the fun, the New Year’s Ohana Festival is created to strengthen the diverse community of Oahu. The festival achieves this by educating present and future generations about the island’s existing and evolving Japanese-American culture, which is very prevalent in Oahu.
The Japanese Cultural Center is a place to learn about and appreciate the culture, history and heritage of your community. The program offers cultural programs and events to enhance the understanding of our community’s rich history.
February: Bubble Run
Looking for a fun and exciting way to celebrate February? Look no further than the Bubble Run in Oahu! Experience the joy of being showered in colorful, fluffy foam as you run through four bubble cannon stations along a 5k course that’s untimed and non-competitive. Whether you choose to walk, run, or dance your way through the course, you’ll be surrounded by a festive atmosphere that’s perfect for you and your loved ones. And when you cross the finish line, get ready for even more fun as you’re welcomed into an after-party where the foam cannons are turned up to full blast! Don’t miss out on this unforgettable event.
March: Honolulu Festival
If you are wondering what Oahu’s most famous festival is, here is the answer – the Honolulu Festival. This celebration remains the center for both locals and tourists.
The festival culminates with a parade down Kalakaua Avenue, and admission to all events is free.
This festival aims to celebrate the diversity of Hawaiian islands’ cultures. This is observed through powerful performances, art exhibits, music, dance, ethnic amity, cooperation, and above all, Aloha.
Attending this festival allows you to understand the cultural molding of Hawaii even more. Moreover, the Honolulu Festival teaches the importance of family, Aloha, cultural unity, and values.
April: SPAM JAM Festival
The history of SPAM in Hawaii can be traced back to World War II. This canned good was initially used to supplement the wartime C-rations. Later on, it became a shelf-stable staple for the military bases and the islanders’ pantries due to the food shortages because of the war.
This 2023 the annual Waikiki SPAM JAM will commence on April 29, 2023. Participating restaurants will be serving unique SPAM dishes for the whole festival.
Yes, spam is a common breakfast meat in Hawaii with comparable popularity to bacon in the US Mainland. You can use it to make spam musubi or as an ingredient for Japanese bentos. Spam has become a mainstay of Hawaiian culture for many years now.
May: Lei Day Celebration
Many things symbolize Hawaii, and one of them is the flower Lei. This flower garland holds a deep significance in Hawaiian culture.
The tradition of giving and receiving lei began with the early Polynesian voyages who embarked on the arduous journey from Tahiti to the islands of Hawaii. It commonly symbolizes love, friendship, celebration, honor, or greeting.
The Lei Day celebration is the largest festival in Honolulu, where you can experience the true meaning of warmth and Aloha.
This free celebration occurs in Kapiolani Park. Here, you will see multiple demonstrations of long strands of lei, lei-making competitions, food, hula, craft, and live music.
June: King Kamehameha Floral Parade
During the parade, you can expect to see beautiful floats that feature the native flora of Hawaii. You can also anticipate pa’u riders on horseback, live music, hula performances, food, and art, all in honor of the Royal Court.
A colorful celebration of Hawaiian culture, this parade event is not to be missed. The parade will feature floats, flowers and leis, as well as traditional chants, music and dance.
July: Prince Lot Hula Festival
Following the King Kamehameha Floral Parade is the Prince Lot Hula Festival. This celebration is the largest non-competitive hula event featuring Hawaiian games and crafts in honor of Prince Lot Kapuaiwa.
This festival takes place in the beautiful garden of Moanalua, where locals and guests celebrate the Prince for bringing back the once-outlawed art of Hula to the Moanalua district.
Joining the celebration allows you to enjoy various culinary delights, cultural artifacts, and practices where everyone can understand the spirit of aloha.
August: Duke’s Oceanfest
Duke Kahanamoku is an Olympic champion known as the world’s fastest swimmer and the Father of International Surfing. Because of these achievements, the Ocean Sports Festival happening every August is dedicated to him.
This festival features surfing exhibits, swimming competitions, lei draping, and surfing and stand-up paddle board competitions with dogs.
So if you are into ocean activities, include this festival on your itinerary if you visit Oahu in August.
Are you in for a big cultural celebration? This one’s for you!
The Aloha Festival is a statewide, multi-cultural festival that started in 1946. This celebration is held every September on the six major islands of Hawaii.
This celebration exhibits various aspects of Hawaiian culture – from classical music and dance to history. All these are designed to share Hawaii’s true aloha spirit.
The Aloha Festival begins at Kalakaua Avenue with a vibrant procession of horse riders, hula halau, cascades of Hawaiian flowers, and marching bands. The celebration will then merge into a fun street party called Hoolaulea, the highlight of the whole festival. The party features Hawaiian music and gastronomic cuisine.
October: Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival
Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival (HRFF) is one of the state’s longest-running and most respected queer film festivals. For years, this festival has been a bridge between Hawaii and the Pacific, Asia, and the USA.
The festival aims to raise awareness and engagement with the people through the power of film. Furthermore, the HRFF instills a sense of pride and respect for Hawaii’s thriving LGBTQIA++ community. The Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival is also held in honor of Hawaii’s LGBTQIA++ pioneer, Adam Baran.
November: Vans Triple Crown of Surfing
It is no secret that Hawaii is the home of numerous beaches. Hence, it shouldn’t be surprising that the state is famous for surfing.
Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is a famous sports event from late November until early December. Every year, this festival registers more than thousands of visitors.
This celebration features many brilliant surfers riding some of the best waves in the world.
December: Pearl Harbor Remembrance
The bombing of Pearl Harbor is among the most tragic and life-changing events in Hawaii during World War II. Every year, on the 7th of December, the Pearl Harbor base commemorates this event to remember and honor those who survived and lost.
The festival in Honolulu stands as a celebration of the survival and strength it took for Hawaii to overcome.
These festivals are undoubtedly enough reasons for you to visit Oahu. Still, if you want to go on an all Oahu tour, the island has more things to show you. If you are excited to know Oahu more, Go Tours Hawaii is here for you!
Celebrate Hawaii with Go Tours Hawaii
Go Tours Hawaii is a local tour operator specializing in Oahu tours. Our expertise on the island is a guarantee that we can give you the best and most authentic Hawaiian experience.
Our tours and packages are curated in a way that all of our clients would enjoy no matter what they choose.
Want to know more? Browse our website and contact us at 1-808-926-3090 or email us at [email protected].
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