Palekana

nvs. Safe, saved, rescued; convalescent; to ward off, brush aside, rescue, protect; to recover from illness; defense, savior, safety, security.

Three more days until we welcome in 2016. With all the money fireworks blowing up here in Hawai’i, it can be a dangerous time. Palekana. Safe. To ward off. Safety. Despite restrictive laws and required permits on fireworks, it still gets a little crazy. It is a tough battle in our legislature since there is so much “culture” involved in ringing in the new year.

Hawaiians didn’t celebrate the coming of a new calendar year. They didn’t even HAVE years like the Gregorian calendar (what we know as our western calendar). We celebrate a couple months of play, harvest and competition during the Makahiki season but there are no fireworks. That influence is mainly from China and Chinese don’t celebrate the new year until February 8th this coming year. How ironic.

The new year, though, is a good reason to celebrate the passing of one year and the hopes of a better new year, eating mochi, popping that long string of firecrackers with the big bang at the end, drinking champagne and eating ‘ono mea ‘ai.

Parents – make it a happy occasion. Watch your keiki. Palekana. When I think of the crazy things I was allowed to do as a kid…shushu babies using the firecracker powder found in unlit firecrackers on the morning of the new year. Blowing up firecrackers in the mailbox. Toddlers holding sparklers. Five year olds lighting the fireworks with the punk. My cousin’s firecracker paper bag somehow blew up every single year. And no drinking and driving or getting all hūpō (stupid). Palekana.

E hoʻoikaika mai ʻoe iaʻu ā laila palekana wau (Hal. 119.117) – strengthen me, then I am saved.

E nanea ʻoukou ma ka pō 31 me ka palekana – Enjoy yourselves on the night of the 31st with safety.

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