Hawai`i, we don't celebrate other holidays like Columbus Day (I'd much rather celebrate our holidays!). Basically, the day is in remembrance of King Kamehameha, who established the Kamehameha dynasty over all the islands (some would say he unified the Hawaiian Islands). From this line of ali`i (rulers/chiefs) the Hawaiian Kingdom and our Monarchy was born. To honor Kamehameha's memory, lei are draped on his statue near the capitol and `Iolani Palace (the only Royal Palace in the US); the lei are very, very long and there are very many of them! There are also statues of Kamehameha in Hilo (he's from the Big Island) and Washington DC that also get leis, but none as much as this one!