King Kamehameha Celebration Commission

About King Kamehameha Celebration Commission:

On December 22, 1871, King Kamehameha V proclaimed a national holiday to honor and celebrate his grandfather and the father of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Originally, the people of Hawai’i wanted to mark the legacy of Lot Kapūaiwa (Kamehameha V) on his birthday, December 11. Being the humble chief that he was, he opted to honor his grandfather instead and pushed the holiday as far away from his (Lot’s) birthday as possible, hence the arbitrary date of June 11. Thus, June 11, 1872, was the very first Kamehameha Day holiday ever celebrated.

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From King Kamehameha Celebration


In the 1860s, King Kamehameha V planted 1000 coconut trees to represent the 1000 warriors who once protected Hawaii. He named this swath of land in Moloka'i the Kapuaiwa Royal Coconut Grove, and, though there are only about 100 trees left today, the grove stands as a reminder of King Kamehameha I, who unified the Hawaiian islands.