The day after Christmas is celebrated as Boxing Day in many countries associated with the United Kingdom. But in Hawaii, December 26 marks the beginning of preparations for two different celebrations involving fireworks and hula.

This is the day that fireworks go on sale for New Year’s celebrations in Hawaii. A new state law that takes effect January 2 limits the type and amount of fireworks that inpiduals may possess, so this is the last big blow-out. Currently, anyone over the age of 18 may buy many fireworks such as sparklers and fountains. To purchase firecrackers, one must by a permit. The permit will remain unchanged in the new law, but all other fireworks will be banned. The law was prompted by concerns about fires caused by both legal and illegal aerial fireworks but also about air quality – it gets pretty smoky when the celebrations get underway.

The day after Christmas is also the earliest postmark accepted on orders of Merrie Monarch Festival tickets. The annual hula celebration on the Big Island of Hawaii always sells out so ticket purchases are limited. Since December 26 is on Sunday this year, requests will be accepted that are postmarked December 27 and later. Each person may buy up to two tickets; each ticket allows you to attend up to three nights of the competition. The dates of this year’s hula competition are April 28-30, 2011.

If you miss out on tickets, there are still many activities that are free to the public during the festival in Hilo. The competition is also televised, so you may take part even if you’re not able to be in Hawaii this spring. If you do hope to see this amazing event in person, get your ticket request in the mail tomorrow!

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