In Hawai’i, July 31 is a holiday: Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea, or Sovereignty Restoration Day. 

King Kamehameha III established this holiday in 1843, in a days-long celebration following the rightful return of sovereign government to Hawaiʻi, after the United Kingdom had made an illegal seizure of their land. 

Kamehameha III proclaimed, “Ua mau ke ea o ka ʻāina i ka pono,” meaning, ‘the ea (sovereignty, life, breath) of our land is perpetuated through justice.’ 

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After decades of suppression, the celebrations of sovereignty were revived in 1985 by Uncle Kekuni Blaisdell and other kānaka aloha ʻāina “as a way to give voice to Hawaiian independence and to issues surrounding the return and demilitarization of Hawaiian lands,” according to the La Hoihoi Ea website.

Celebrations will be happening all day in Hawai’i and with family, relatives, and community around the world. 

Learn more.

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