Many helping hands are needed Tuesday, April 30, to assemble koi nobori and bamboo poles.
Please meet in the parking lot of Mokuola at 9 a.m. 4/30 if you are able to help.
Koi is an ornamental variety of carp introduced to the rest of the world from Niigata at a World’s Fair in Tokyo in 1914. The fish is a symbol of strength and overcoming adversity. It expresses a wish for health and success.
Koi nobori (colorful koi windsocks) are flown in Japan from April through early May in honor of Childern’s Day (May 5) known as Kodomo No Hi, which formerly was known as Boys’ Festival (Tango No Sekku). Children’s Day has been a national holiday in Japan since 1948. It is the last day of Golden Week.
The tradition of flying koi nobori came to Hawaii with Japanese immigrants. The first group (Gannen Mono) arrived in 1868. The biggest waves of immigration from Japan started at the behest of King David Kalakaua.
The first ship of Kanyaku Imin arrived in Honolulu on 8 February 1885. By the U.S. Federal Census of 1910, Japanese immigrants and their families accounted for 43% of the population of Hawaii.
2017 – the first of a three-year centennial celebration of Lili`uokalani Gardens – marked a return to flying koi in the Waiakea area. Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens wishes to honor the tradition and bring attention to community events happening this week.
Hilo Lei Day Festival will be held in Kalakaua Park on Wednesday, May 1, starting at 10 a.m.
The 8th annual AIDS Walk fund raising for the Hawaii Island HIV/AIDS Foundation will be held in Lili`uokalani Gardens on Saturday, May 4, starting with registration at 8:00 a.m.
The Rotary Club of South Hilo annual fundraiser “Hilo Huli” will be held on Mokuola Sunday, May 5, starting at 11 a.m. Koi will fly until Hilo Huli is over.
Koi nobori may be seen at Suisan Fish Market, Pandamonia’s Paleta Palace at Ali`i Ice, Lili`uokalani Gardens, Hilo Bay Cafe, Shoroan (the Urasenke tea house), Banyan Gallery, Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, and the Grand Naniloa Resort among other Banyan Drive locations. The most colorful and abundant display will be on the bridge to Mokuola.
For more information on Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens, please take a look at our monthly electronic newsletter for April.