Christmas in Volcano Village: Holiday Traditions

When most think of Hawaii, they think of beautiful beaches, black sand, lush forests, and water sports – not Christmas. The island is far from a winter wonderland, but that doesn’t mean locals and visitors alike can’t celebrate the holiday season. Here’s how we celebrate Christmas in Hawaii.

The Honolulu Hale Christmas Tree

This is, perhaps, the most well-known holiday display in Hawaii. At City Hall in Honolulu, you’ll find a giant Christmas tree, plus other holiday decorations that honor all the seasonal celebrations happening this time of year.

Mele Kalikimaka

Mele Kalikimaka is a phrase popularized by Bing Crosby in his 1950 hit by the same name. Of course, it means Merry Christmas in Hawaiian and it’s a popular saying this time of year. You’ll also hear merry Christmas and happy holidays, but certainly, Mele Kalikimaka is a local favorite


Makahiki is a local tradition that was celebrated long before Christmas made it to the island. Based on the lunar calendar, Makahiki spans a total of four months, beginning in November and celebrates the harvest, in a similar way to Thanksgiving. Today, this local tradition has been integrated with new Christmas traditions, making for a very…time of year.

Kilauea at Christmas

You’ve read about holiday traditions, now on to upcoming holiday events on the Big Island.

Christmas with the Chefs Annual Fundraiser

Join the island’s top chefs for culinary holiday creations, including gingerbread displays! This benefit, in its 36th year, will help local culinary students at Hawaii Community College. Dishes will be accompanied by handcrafted ales, wine, and Kona coffee. Plus, there’s live music (jazz), dancing, and a silent auction which includes holiday gifts that support local businesses. Tickets are $90. This is a wonderfully festive event perfect for anyone visiting the island for the holidays.

Waimea Christmas Twilight Parade

Join Santa and his elves for a traditional Christmas Parade in Waimea. This parade has it all: Santa and his elves, bright and festive holiday floats, music, and more. All in support of The Big Island Giving Tree who make sure no one is left behind during the holiday season.

2nd Annual Christmas in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park “Kahuku Unit”

Join the folks at Volcanoes National Park for a free music event featuring the Shootz band, the Queen of the Opera, and D’Andrea Pelletier. Food will be available for purchase courtesy of Volcano House. Shaved ice, drinks, snacks and merchandise will also be for sale. Proceeds go to park projects and educational programs.

So, visit us this holiday season on the Big Island. Our hotel is just short 3 miles from the entrance of Volcanoes National Park the last bits of the island tropical rain forest. To learn more about our many accommodation options, visit our Properties & Rooms page. You can also visit our Activities page to learn more about fun things to do once you’re here. Mele Kalikimaka!

Christmas in Volcano Village

Christmas in Volcano Village