From Our Files

April archives

In 1888, King Kalakaua issued a royal charter, commissioning a magazine. Then titled Paradise of the Pacific, this publication became HONOLULU Magazine, making it the oldest magazine west of the Mississippi.




It had been almost a year since Pele had graced the Islands with her presence at the Halemaumau (Kilauea) crater. “And when the crimson golden flood is not, then arise from the hearts of Hawaii’s islanders their fervent prayers for the return of the glory of Pele, goddess of flame, lady of the lava, resplendent queen of all creation,” observes Paradise of the Pacific. In trying to woo Pele to return and allow the lava to flow from the crater again, more than 2,000 people gathered on the edge of Halemaumau in  Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to watch hula dancers and kahuna perform volcano ceremonies. Pele did not show up that month but has continued to bring the crater to life, most recently in 2008.


April in Honolulu set the scene for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival sponsored by the Japanese Junior Cultural Chamber of Commerce. “Events during the 18 festival days offer the best, new and old, of Japanese culture, beauty and tradition,” writes Paradise of the Pacific. One of the festival’s highlights was the Queen Contest, a competition among 43 female contestants of Japanese ancestry. The women wore elaborate kimonos and participated in four activities. The winner was crowned during the Coronation Ball. “It is a unique opportunity for camera enthusiasts.” Other festivities included bonsai and bonseki displays, tea ceremonies, Japanese dances and a fireworks show.


“When most people think of the entertainment at the Polynesian Cultural Center at Laie, they think of teenagers—those bright young students who come from all over the South Pacific to seek an education at the Mormon college—and earn money on the side by demonstrating their native dances and cultures,” writes HONOLULU Magazine. The magazine states, however, that the older performers of the Polynesian Cultural Center could be more entertaining. “The older portly Polynesians often prove to be the hit of the colorful show.” The magazine event comments on their impressive size. “When they jog the land jigs!”