Tag Archives: whaling

Christmas in America: Lāhainā

Lāhainā, Maui

Don’t hold out hope for a white Christmas in a town whose name means ‘cruel sun’. But drop in on the town of Lahaina and you’ll experience a holiday tradition that says as much about community as about adaptation.

Lahaina oceanfront

Lahaina oceanfront

In the 1820s, the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii was a hot, dusty village called Lāhainā. Whaling boats frequented the waters, sheltered by other islands from harsh weather. The village soon became a port of call for thousands of sailors. Buildings went up on the model of New England towns, bars did well, and related businesses flourished. Herman Melville, author of the whaling saga Moby Dick, was one such sailor. At one point Lāhainā was the center of the global whaling industry. Continue reading

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