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Tip: This holiday in May is dedicated to the beautiful Hawaiian tradition of making and wearing lei.
Torch Lighting in Waikiki
Every city has its signature attractions. One of Honolulu’s best is the tradition of torch-lighting ceremonies that occurs every evening throughout Waikiki. Less ceremony than ritual, what you’ll see is a half-clothed, brown-skinned man running down the street, or on your hotel grounds, with a stick of fire in his hand. His job is to light the torches.
You can witness that scene at sunset each evening when the torches are lit at the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center. At the Ilikai Hotel, a conch shell blower adds an ancient echo to the scene. At Kuhio Beach Park, the nightly hula pageant begins with a torch-lighting ceremony and the call of a conch shell. The free show begins at 6 p.m. from November to January and at 6:30 p.m. the remainder of the year.
The Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center hosts the lighting of 50 torches on Lewers Street and Kalakaua Avenue every night at 6 p.m. The Changing of the King’s Guard is held nightly at 6:15 p.m. at King’s Village Shopping Center, across from the Hyatt Regency Waikiki. At Kapiolani Park Beach Center at 6:45 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, you can hear a conch shell blower heralding torch lighting. Several hotels also stage regular torch lighting events.