ALOHA FROM JENNIE: Friday has been known as 'Aloha Friday' in Hawaii since the mid 1940's. At that time, the City and County of Honolulu gave government workers permission to dress in Hawaiian aloha attire on Fridays. By the late 60's, this practice had been adopted by Hawaii's private businesses, and aloha shirts and muumuus on Friday became the norm. Some say that this was the predecessor to the 'casual Fridays' wave sweeping the U.S. mainland.
Groups of art galleries, restaurants, and bars are clustered in Honolulu's downtown financial district and its adjacent Chinatown neighborhood. To support local artists and create a lively atmosphere for its patrons, these businesses have banded together to hold a cultural event on the 'First Friday' of every month.
Hawaii residents and visitors alike flock to 'First Fridays' during 5 to 9 p.m., mingling with the local artists at the various galleries and enjoying wine, beer and light refreshments. A link to the official First Friday website is included here. Nearby restaurants and bars entertain the crowd with pupus (appetizers), meals and live entertainment. The success of 'First Fridays' is leading to sequels such as 'Second Saturdays' and 'Third Thursdays'!
All of this adds to the spirit of 'Pau Hana', a Hawaiian pidgin/slang term for 'finished working'. On Friday, Pau Hana might mean the practice of leaving work a little early to start the process of enjoying the weekend. In a number of industries, payroll is processed weekly, on Fridays, which adds a little pocket change for picking up some beer and 'kicking back' during the weekend!
How are Fridays special in your neck of the woods?