Most times music lovers have a favorite genre of music and thus gravitate to the same types of music festivals. Meaning country music lovers like festivals like Country Thunder (Arizona), CMA's in Nashville etc. There is nothing wrong with that at all. I, myself, as a music lover tend to gravitate to the same types of music and thus same types of festivals. Or at least that was how it was before this last vacation I took to Hawaii.
While vacationing on the beautiful island of Oahu, a few friends and I decided to take a private tour to the North Shore. Our tour guide Akima, owned as well as did all of the private tours for her company Hawaii Real Nature Tours. She was very friendly, a great tour guide, and also an avid music lover! Now that’s my kind of people! We got to talking during our amazingly beautiful hike, about music, the greatest music festivals etc. She asked if I had ever heard of the Merry Monarch Music Festival that is held every spring in Hilo, Hawaii. I didn’t even know exactly which island Hilo was on! She smiled and began telling me about this beautiful hawaiian cultural music festival and it blew my mind! The Merry Monarch is a week long festival that is held on the BIg Island of Hawaii in a town named Hilo. The purpose of the festival is not only for festival goers entertainment but also to exhibit Hawaiian culture and the beautiful art of hula! The festival includes:
- Invitational Art Fairs
- Cultural Demonstrations
- Hula Performances
- Parade Showcasing the Aspects of Hawaiian Culture
Perhaps the icing on the cake to this incredible festival is the 3 day long hula competition. We aren’t talking small competition either! In fact Halau’s (Hula teams/schools) from all over the islands and the continental United States come to participate and showcase their dancing and chanting skills. Year round the elite Halau’s hold grueling practices, classes, and seminars as to ready themselves to be not only invited to this coveted competition but to also win it! Through the beauty of hula dance and the story told through the chants and songs they dance too, Hawaii’s culture and history is laid before the festival attendees to see and learn.
Perhaps one of the most amazing festivals I have yet to hear of, I will definitely be attending this Spring! To teach a culture's history and importance through music and the art of dance is incredible to me. It gives a new significance to music festivals as well as goes to show that you can heal, teach, and enchant all through the love of music!
I asked Akima if she has ever been to the Merry Monarch and she told me she had once. She then shared that it was even more beautiful and hypnotizing than one would think. In general Hawaii is hypnotizing to me. Hearing the story and the history of the Merry Monarch was enchanting to me as we walked the lushes beaches of the North Shore and enjoyed fresh fish tacos at a little surf shack looking restaurant. I must say those were some of the best fish tacos I have ever experienced. Hawaii definitely left me with a serenity and calm that I hadn’t felt in a long time. I vowed to myself that I would make it back for the Merry Monarch and I can’t wait! I will have so much to share when I get back! Until then, CHEERS to music, festivals, listening to it in your backyard, just music in general. It reaches the soul and enchants even the non believers if they will let it!