This is something that I think is very special both to Hawaiians and anyone interested in learning more about Hawaiian music and dance! The Merrie Monarch Festival is a week-long cultural festival that takes place annually in Hilo, Hawaii. It honors King David Kalākaua, who was called the "Merrie Monarch" for his patronage of the arts and is credited with restoring many Hawaiian cultural traditions during his reign, including the hula. Many hālau hula (schools), including some from the U.S. mainland and some international performers, attend the festival each year to participate in exhibitions and competitions. The festival has received worldwide attention and is considered the most prestigious of all hula contests. You can see the entire hula competition from 2010 on this card. Has anyone ever been to the festival before? If I do plan a trip to Hawaii in the future, I'd like to do it around the festival! It looks like so much fun!