Hawaii Festivals & Events > Hawaii Public Holidays
As the 50th state of the USA, Hawaii has Federal and State public holidays. Most businesses in resort areas (like Waikiki) and the major tourist attractions will choose to stay open on these days.
Hawaii Federal Holidays
Federal holidays are determined by the United States Government and are nationally recognized. U.S. government offices, banks and post offices are usually closed on these days. Most corporate companies will also shutdown in observance of these national holidays.
- New Year’s Day (1st of January)
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day (3rd Monday in January)
- Presidents’ Day (3rd Monday in February)
- Memorial Day (Last Monday in May)
- Independence Day (4th of July)
- Labor Day (1st Monday in September)
- Veterans Day (11th of November)
- Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday in November)
- Christmas Day (25th of December)
Hawaii State Holidays
State holidays are declared at a state or local government level and are only observed in those specific states, counties or cities. Hawaii’s state holidays mark culturally and historically significant occasions. On these days, State government offices and public schools are closed.
- Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day (26th of March)
- Good Friday (Friday preceding Easter Sunday)
- King Kamehameha Day (11th of June)
- Statehood Day (3rd Friday in August)
- General Election Day (1st Tuesday in November following the 1st Monday of even-numbered years)
Hawaii’s Observed Holidays in 2022 & 2023
To check what actual date the Hawaii public holidays fall in 2021, please consult the list below.
- Veterans’ Day 11th of November 2022, Friday
- Thanksgiving 24th of November 2022, Thursday
- Christmas 25th of December 2022, Sunday (Public holiday date: 26th of December, Monday)
- New Year’s Day 1st of January 2023, Sunday (Public holiday date: 2nd of January, Monday)
- Martin Luther King Day 16th of January 2023, Monday
- Presidents’ Day 20th of February 2023, Monday
- Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day 26th of March 2023, Sunday (Public holiday date: 27th of March, Monday)
- Good Friday 7th of April 2023, Friday
- Memorial Day 29th of May 2023, Monday
- King Kamehameha Day 11th of June 2023, Sunday (Public holiday date: 12th of June, Monday)
- Independence Day 4th of July 2023, Tuesday
- Statehood Day 18th of August 2023, Friday
- Labor Day 4th of September 2023, Monday
- Veterans’ Day 11th of November 2023, Saturday (Public holiday date: 10th of November, Friday)
- Thanksgiving 23rd of November 2023, Thursday
- Christmas 25th of December 2023, Monday
Hawaii Holiday Meanings
Ever wondered what the Hawaii federal and state holidays represent? Read on for an explanation of why these days of the year are important plus ideas on how you can celebrate them on Oahu.
New Year’s Day
New Year’s Day on the 1st of January heralds the start of a new year according to the Gregorian calendar. It’s the day after New Year’s Eve, a day-off work for the general population. It’s a relatively quiet day on Oahu, apart from a sales storm that hits local shopping centers.
Martin Luther King Day
Martin Luther King Day honors the life of Martin Luther King Jr., an American civil rights leader. It falls on the third Monday in January, close to his birth date. Join Hawaii’s annual MLK Celebration Parade & Unity Rally, it begins at Magic Island and through Waikiki to Kapiolani Park.
Presidents’ Day remembers America’s first leader George Washington but is also widely accepted as a celebration of all U.S. presidents. It’s held on the third Monday in February, close to Washington’s birthday. This long weekend is popular for trips and one of the biggest sales of the year.
Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day
Prince Kuhio Day (for short) is a Hawaii-specific holiday on the 26th of March. It honors Prince Kuhio, a prominant leader in Hawaii’s history remembered for his great efforts to improve the lives of Native Hawaiians. Attend a variety of events during the Prince Kuhio Festival.
Good Friday is the Friday before Easter, a holy day commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Spend Easter weekend on Oahu attending a local Easter church service, taking part in a Easter egg hunt, enjoying Easter Sunday brunch or shopping ’til you drop in the Easter sales.
Memorial Day is a time for remembering all Americans who lost their lives in military service. Held on the last Monday in May, this long weekend is big for outdoor gatherings and retail sales. Events include a Memorial Day Ceremony at Punchbowl, a Parade and a Lantern Floating Festival.
King Kamehameha Day
King Kamehameha Day on the 11th of June pays tribute to Hawaii’s first King who unified the islands to form the Kingdom of Hawaii. The pageantry displayed during this cultural festival is superb. Don’t miss the statue lei draping ceremony, floral parade and Waikiki block party.
Independence Day, also known as 4th of July, commemorates the Declaration of Independence, a statement declaring freedom from England that led to the birth of the United States as an independent nation. Oahu is full of picnics, BBQs, street parades, concerts and firework shows.
Hawaii Statehood Day
Hawaii Statehood Day or Hawaii Admission Day on the third Friday in August marks the period when Hawaii, after 66 years of occupation by the United States, officially became the 50th state of America. It’s a controversial ‘celebration’, especially amongst Native Hawaiians.
Labor Day on the 1st Monday in September is the unofficial end of summer. The premise of this holiday is to recognize American workers. Locals are out and about taking advantage of the three-day weekend, shops are on fire sale and U.S. mainlanders book short Hawaii getaways.
General Election Day
General Election Day takes place in even-numbered years, usually on the 1st Tuesday in November following the 1st Monday in November. This is the day set for voters in Hawaii to select federal, state, county, and Office of Hawaiian Affairs candidates.
Veterans’ Day honors and thanks military veterans for their service in the Armed Forces. It’s always the 11th of November, regardless of what day of the week it falls. Memorials are held at several locations on Oahu including Punchbowl, Pearl Harbor, and the War Memorial Natatorium.
Thanksgiving began in 1621 and is celebrated annually on the 4th Thursday in November. Family and friends spend time together giving thanks for life’s blessings. Book a Thanksgiving buffet! The day after Thanksgiving is Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year in Hawaii and all of the United States.
Christmas on the 25th of December celebrates Christ’s birth. Hawaii traditions include Santa leaving gifts under a tropical Christmas tree and families spending time together. There’s no-snow, Santa wears surf shorts, and “Mele Kalikimaka” (Merry Christmas) is the seasons greeting!
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