Life at Punahou


With such a rich history, Punahou has many colorful annual traditions that contribute to a shared experience and lasting memories for its community.

List of 10 items.

  • Baccalaureate

    Kicks off graduation week with a farewell address to Punahou’s senior class and is typically held at the historic Central Union Church.
  • Carnival

    Punahou’s two-day fundraiser draws thousands of carnival-goers each year, with proceeds supporting the financial aid program.

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  • Commencement

    The graduation celebration for Punahou’s senior class, family and friends has been previously held at Stan Sheriff Center at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa , Neal S. Blaisdell Center and on campus. A tradition was born in 1963 when senior girls voted to wear Hawaiian Holoku instead of formal dresses.
  • Flaming ‘P’

    Punahou’s annual fall school spirit celebration, a tradition that dates back to the late ’60s. The family event includes an evening of great food, keiki activities, a pep rally and the lighting of a 20-foot tall “P” structure.
  • Hoonani i Ka Makua Mau

    The hymn sung in Chapel from grades 2 – 12 was written by Rev. Hiram Bingham as a Hawaiian translation of “Praise God, From Whom All Blessings Flow.”
  • May Day and Holoku

    Some of the School’s most popular spring traditions, offering students from K – 12 the opportunity to learn and perform mele, oli and hula.

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  • O‘ahu a

    Punahou’s alma mater written by Wilhelm Gartner, Punahou Class of 1902, sung to the tune of “Maryland, My Maryland.”
  • Reunion and Alumni Week

    Held in June, these events bring alumni together for a week of opportunities to celebrate and connect both on campus and off. The focal point is the Alumni Lū‘au, hosted by the 24th Reunion Class on Saturday. 

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  • Senior Skip Day

    On the year’s last scheduled class day for Punahou Academy, students enjoy an outing to “Kikila,” the White Estate located in La‘ie, before finals and graduation. The tradition dates back to 1948.
  • Variety Show

    A staging of comedy, music, theatre and dance put on by the entire senior class during Carnival. It’s a beloved tradition and bonding experience that’s taken place since 1952.

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