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The day after Christmas is celebrated as Boxing Day in the United Kingdom. Here in Hawaii, December 26 is also celebrated but it’s because boxes of fireworks go on sale.
Lines at stores form before sunrise with locals ready to buy their quota of explosive fun. Fireworks permits must be purchased for firecrackers; many novelty items can be bought without a permit. The fireworks are supposed to be used only on New Year’s Eve, but the sounds and sights of fireworks regularly demonstrate a lack of restraint
Fireworks seem even more popular for the new year than in July. Hawaii’s h3 cultural ties to China include the idea that fireworks frighten away evil spirits and bring good luck in the coming year. (It also seems that Hawaii adopts the celebrations of every culture that lives here.) Last year, we heard occasional fireworks during the final week of December but I was unprepared for the barrage of nonstop explosives that started around dusk on the 31st and continued until midnight. It was amazing!
Organized fireworks displays are held on New Year’s Eve in several locations around Oahu and on the neighbor islands. It is possible to watch them from a dinner cruise or from the beach. We walked to Kailua beach park, which is often a fairly busy beach. On New Year’s Eve, the beach was covered with people sitting body-to-body, as though seated in a giant outdoor movie theatre, all facing the ocean. The fireworks are especially beautiful when reflected in the water.
Honolulu is the last major city to greet the New Year, and Hawaii certainly welcomes it with a bang!