Fun Facts About Hawaii For Kids: History And Culture Of The Aloha State

Christian Mba
Jan 24, 2024 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Oct 22, 2021
View of nice tropical beach with palms around.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.1 Min

Did you know that according to Hawaiian superstition, collecting lava rocks from volcanic eruptions can bring bad luck?

If you're looking for mesmerizing sunsets, mind-blowing beaches, surfing, and volcanic mountains, then Hawaii is the ideal place. Moreover, what makes the state of Hawaii unique is its culture.

What comes to your mind when someone talks about their vacation in Hawaii? It's popular for more than one reason. Famous as the Aloha State, Hawaii is the USA's widest state (east to west) known for its unparalleled beauty and customs. If you have an artistic craze, you would be intrigued to learn about the hula. It is actually a male dance form, but today men and women wearing colorful apparel (like grass skirts) participate with mirth and laughter. Originally, this Polynesian dance was followed by oli, a chant, and mele, a song. If you happen to spend your vacations in Hawaii, you'll most likely be greeted with the lei. It is the sweetest traditional greeting where garlands are offered as a gesture of friendship. This beautiful garland is made from floral blooms like orchids and tuberose. One of the interesting features of Hawaii is that it doesn't observe daylight savings time. At the time of daylight savings, residents change their clock time by advancing it by an hour. However, Hawaii has denied complying with the Uniform Time Act. It, therefore, follows the Hawaii Standard Time (HST). The location of Hawaii is such that there is little to no variation in the daylight hours of winter and summer. If you want to acquaint yourself with some more fascinating facts about the island, then this is the perfect opportunity!

If you want to get acquainted with the history and culture of the Hawaiian islands, then keep indulging in these Hawaii facts. Also, check out these interesting facts about Alaska and animals in Hawaii.

Where Hawaii Is Located

The location of Hawaii is perfectly suited for a refreshing weekend. A holiday in Hawaiian islands is all you need! So, where is Hawaii exactly located? Let's find out.

The formation of the islands of Hawaii was the result of undersea volcanic activity that was initiated from the Hawaii hotspot. The 50th state of the USA, Hawaii is essentially an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, which is situated at a distance of around 2,000 mi (3,218.7 km) away from the mainland. This state, with its capital of Honolulu on Oahu island, is the only US state to be composed entirely of volcanic islands. The westernmost state of the US, Hawaii, was initially an independent state inhabited by the Polynesians. It is composed of a variety of features, including mountains, tropical rainforests, streams, wetlands, and waterfalls. When you visit Hawaii, don't miss out on the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where the Kilauea recently spewed lava in 2018. You can also include Thurston Lava Tube, Crater Rim Road, and the Halema'uma'u crater.

What Hawaii Is Famous For

Hawaii is perhaps the most versatile state of the US and is renowned for multiple reasons. Here are a few of them.

Hawaii is popular as the largest archipelago of the world, with 137 islands. People from across the globe visit Hawaii primarily for its exotic sand beach. The black and white sand beaches, as well as the Waimea Canyon, are some of the most visited tourist spots. Hawaii possesses the world's fourth longest coastline extending around 750 mi (1,207 km). The archipelago stretches for 1,500 mi (2,414 km). Among all the islands, Hawaiʻi, or the Big Island, has the largest size, while the island of Oʻahu comes third. Iolani Palace is the sole royal palace of the Kamehameha dynasty situated on the Island of Oahu. The palace was built during the reign of King Kamehameha III and was considered a symbol of monarchy. However, the palace was used as the capital after the monarchy of Queen Lili'uokalani and her brother, King Kalakaua, ended in 1893. Did you know that the U.S. Pacific Fleet is stationed in Hawaii? It is the world's largest navy. Additionally, it hosts 75,000 Defense Department workers.

As per the Guinness Book of World Records, Dole's Plantation Pineapple Maze Garden is the world's largest pineapple maze with an area of over 2 acres (8,093.7 sq. km). Here you can find a large variety of plants such as Panax, croton, hibiscus, pineapple, and heliconia. The area holds about 14,000 plants! In fact, the maze's central portion is shaped like a giant pineapple.

Facts About The History Of Hawaii

Hawaii's cultural diversity undoubtedly makes the US state very special, but are you aware of the history of its discovery? Check out some of these important facts about Hawaii and its history before planning a trip to Hawaii's beach resorts.

The Polynesians are believed to be the first settlers somewhere in the middle of 124 to 1120 AD. The entire world remained oblivious of the Hawaiian civilization as they remained alienated for around 500 years. The existence of the islands was brought to light in 1778 when the British explorer named James Cook, with his European crew, stumbled upon Kauai island. Cook tagged them 'the Sandwich islands' after the Earl of Sandwich. Some researchers hold the belief that it wasn't Cook but the Spanish captain named Ruy López de Villalobos who first set foot on the islands which were called 'Isla de Mesa, de Los Monjes y Desgraciada'. However, it was Kamehameha I who conquered and unified the chain of islands, establishing the 'Kingdom of Hawai'i' after five years of Cook's arrival in 1795. The kingdom prospered immensely in agriculture. The name is most probably derived from the mythical figure, Hawaiʻiloa, or from the term 'Sawaiki'which draws similarity with the Hawaiian language. The word implies 'homeland'.

Beautiful scene in Tunnels Beach on the Island of Kauai, Hawaii.

Fun Facts About Hawaiian Food And Culture

Most of the Hawaiian Islands still remain unexplored as people inhabit only eight islands of the chain of 137 islands. These main islands comprising Hawaii's state are Molokaʻi, Maui, Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi, Kauaʻi, Niʻihau, Lānaʻi, and Kahoʻolawe. With 1.5 million Hawaiian residents, the island is one of the least populous, ranking 11th in population density when compared with the other US states.

The Hawaiian alphabet used by the islanders comprises only 13 letters, among which are the five vowels commonly used in English. The remaining eight are consonants - h, k, l, m, n, p, w, and ʻ (ʻokina). They also use seven diphthongs, the sound caused by the combination of two vowels.

Let's learn some quick facts about the island. The official languages of Hawaii are Hawaiian and English. The yellow hibiscus is the state flower of Hawaii, the state fish is the reef triggerfish. Additionally, the hoary bat has been recognized as the Hawaiian state mammal. The economy of Hawaii chiefly thrives on the tourism industry. The rich heritage and culture of the locals serve as a major attraction for tourists and cultural researchers.

Cool Facts About The Beaches And Islands of Hawaii

Hawaii's islands are not like just any other island. These interesting facts about Hawaii would surely reawaken your urge to travel.

Among all the islands of Hawaii, tourists pour in to witness the incredible natural beauty of the Big Island. It is renowned for its five volcanoes. For instance, Mauna Kea is the largest dormant volcano situated on the Big Island, while Kilauea volcano is the most active volcano. Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea make up for three-fourths of the total land surface. The island also boasts of a soothing tropical climate, striking waterfalls, and lush green forests. Tourists take back memorable experiences by engaging in water sports like sea diving, snorkeling, and surfing. Did you know that Mauna Kea is actually taller than the tallest mountain in the world, Mount Everest standing short of 3,661 ft (1115.9 m)? This volcanic mountain has an elevation of 32,696 ft (9965.7 m).

The island produces Kona coffee, the most popular variety, on a large scale because of its high commercial value throughout the world. Coffee plantations can primarily be found on the islands of Kauai and Maui, although it is grown on the other islands as well. Other crops include pineapple and sugar. Have you heard of the 'Jurassic Park of Hawaii'? Kualoa Ranch is the famous site where the movie series Jurassic Park was produced.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for facts about Hawaii then why not take a look at facts about Poland or facts about Machu Picchu?

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Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba picture

Christian MbaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba is an experienced blogger and content writer with over a decade of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Nigeria and has a keen interest in Python programming. Along with his writing and blogging expertise, he is also an SEO specialist with more than six years of experience. Chris, as he is commonly known, has a passion for music and enjoys playing the piano.

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