The annual May Day and Holokū program is one of the School’s most popular spring traditions, offering students from K – 12 the opportunity to learn and perform mele, oli and hula. All students from kindergarten through grade 5 participate in the May Day program; participation is optional for Middle School and Academy students.
The theme of this year's pageant is Hōpoe ka Lehua, describing a perfectly shaped lehua blossom. This focus was chosen to share with students the biocultural and ecological significance of 'ōhi'a lehua and inspire an urgency to understand the impact of rapid 'ōhi'a death disease.
Enjoy these introductions of select songs from this yearʻs pageant by the student directors.
Behind the Scenes of Holokū Pageant
This eight part video series (below) explores the preparation and collaborative effort that makes Holokū possible each year. It describes some of the cultural significance of Holokū, and the impact it has on today's Punahou community.
The first May Day in Hawai'i was held on May 1, 1928, originating from writer/poet Don Blanding, who suggested that a holiday be created around the Hawaiian custom of making and wearing lei. May Day at Punahou was originally celebrated with a spring festival, gala and a procession round the Lily Pond.
Today, Junior School students and faculty plan and execute three indoor May Day performances from grades K – 2, 3 – 5 and 6 – 8.
The 1960s marked the beginning of the annual Holokū Pageant. Hundreds of seniors volunteer to pay tribute to the history of the Hawaiian Islands through an exciting sequence of ancient and modern hula and chants during two evening Holokū performances.