ALOHA FROM JENNIE: Hawaii is known as a cultural melting pot, and it carries over to festivals and exhibitions held on our islands. Recent back to back weekend events included an orchid society show and competitive dragonboat racing.
Dragonboats have origins back to the ancient Greek Olympics, but is more known for its popularity in China, where the ancient boats would be made from teakwood imported from Indonesia. Current day dragonboats are fashioned from lightweight carbon fiber materials and feature decorative dragon heads and tails.
Teams with up to 18 paddlers each compete in elimination races; the course consists of three 600 meter long lanes. Teams from Canada, Australia and other countries are in Hawaii to compete. Spectators at the two day festival enjoy a lazy day at the beach watching the elimination heats and enjoying food galore.
Turning our focus to elegant plants, Japanese bonsai has long been famous for its intricate shaping of miniature trees. In a number of botanical gardens displays, bonsai and orchids go hand in hand with their delicate yet sturdy appearance.
The art of crafting shapes and colors within orchid plants is practiced by many island enthusiasts, and recently the Ewa Orchid Society showed off the impressive results in their 63rd annual show. A lot of preparation went into assembling the main display featured in their three day event, which is spotlighted during a 3 minute video in our Media Videos section.
Are cultural festivals predominant in your neck of the woods? We'd love hearing about events in your region.