The 55th Annual
The Perpetuation of Hula Kahili and the Hawaiian Culture

About

THE MERRIE MONARCH FESTIVAL

The Merrie Monarch Festival is a week-long cultural event held in Hilo, Hawaiʻi each spring, featuring Hawaiian culture and a premier hula competition. The Festival is a domestic non-profit organization registered with the State of Hawaiʻi Department of commerce and Consumer Affairs.

The Hawaiʻi Island Chamber of Commerce began the festival in 1963, and the private Merrie Monarch Festival community organization took on the responsibilities of running the event five years later. The central purpose of the Festival is the perpetuation, preservation, and promotion of the art of hula and the Hawaiian culture.

•• Merrie Monarch Festival ••

A Renaissance

The Merrie Monarch Festival has contributed to a renaissance of the Hawaiian culture, providing a platform on which cultural practices and values can be honored and passed on from generation to generation.

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Community

The week-long festivities include an invitational arts fair, cultural demonstrations, hula performances, and a parade that showcases the many cultures of Hawaiʻi.

The highlight of the festival is a world renowned three-day hula competition featuring some of the best hālau hula (hula school) from Hawaiʻi and the continental United States. Through the celebration of the Merrie Monarch Festival, thousands of people at home in the islands and throughout the world learn about the history and culture of Hawaiʻi.

The Merrie Monarch Festival is committed to:

1) Perpetuating the traditional culture of the Hawaiian people; 2) Developing and augmenting a living knowledge of Hawaiian arts and crafts through workshops, demonstrations, exhibitions and performances of the highest quality and authenticity; 3) Reaching individuals who might not otherwise have the opportunity to participate in the festival through live broadcasts and social media; and, 4) Enriching the future lives of all of Hawaiʻi’s children.

In preparation for the Merrie Monarch Festival hālau hula in Hawaiʻi and parts of the U.S. hold classes, workshops, and seminars throughout the year. Kumu hula (hula teachers) teach their dancers the art of hula, the meaning of Hawaiian chants and songs, the nuances of Hawaiian language, the craft of Hawaiian clothing and implements, and the history of the Hawaiian people. In this way knowledge is gained about the people of old, including our aliʻi (chiefs) and gods.

Through this ongoing learning process, students also gain a knowledge and appreciation of the balance ancient Hawaiian people maintained with our island environment. The messages conveyed in our chants, songs and dances tell of our relationship with nature — the animals, plants, elements, land, sea, and active volcanoes.

The Merrie Monarch Festival is the focal point and catalyst that supports and draws together an extensive network of hālau hula, kumu hula, researchers, professors of Hawaiian studies and students of all ages who are committed to the perpetuation and advancement of Hawaiian history and culture.

In preparation for the Merrie Monarch Festival hālau hula in Hawaiʻi and parts of the U.S. hold classes, workshops, and seminars throughout the year. Kumu hula (hula teachers) teach their dancers the art of hula, the meaning of Hawaiian chants and songs, the nuances of Hawaiian language, the craft of Hawaiian clothing and implements, and the history of the Hawaiian people. In this way knowledge is gained about the people of old, including our aliʻi (chiefs) and gods.

Through this ongoing learning process, students also gain a knowledge and appreciation of the balance ancient Hawaiian people maintained with our island environment. The messages conveyed in our chants, songs and dances tell of our relationship with nature — the animals, plants, elements, land, sea, and active volcanoes.

The Merrie Monarch Festival is the focal point and catalyst that supports and draws together an extensive network of hālau hula, kumu hula, researchers, professors of Hawaiian studies and students of all ages who are committed to the perpetuation and advancement of Hawaiian history and culture.

  • 865 Piʻilani Street Hilo, HI 96720
  • (808) 935-9168