Mele Kalikimaka and the history of the Holidays in Hawaii

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You have probably heard the phrase Mele Kalikimaka (pronounced may-lay ka-lee-key-ma-ka) which means "Merry Christmas" in the Hawaiian language. This phrase became even more popular when it was made into a song written by Robert Alex Anderson in 1949. Musicians such as Bing Crosby, Bette Midler, and The Beach Boys have all performed this now popular Christmas song. But where does the phrase and the tradition of Christmas in Hawaii come from?

Many say that Captain Cook first introduced Christmas to Hawaii upon his arrival in 1778. The celebration of Christmas grew throughout Hawaii in the 1820's with the arrival of many of the protestant missionaries from New England. Introduced with this was the tradition of a large feast and the exchange of gifts. The phrase Mele Kalikimaka was born literally from the translation of "Merry Christmas" into the native language. Without letters such as "r" and "s" in the Hawaiian language, the translation become Mele Kalikimaka.

We just wanted to take the time to wish everyone Happy Holidays and Mele Kalikimaka from our teams here in Hawaii to all of you.

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