Discoverer’s Day 2015: Is It a Federal Holiday in Hawaii?

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While many America’s celebrate Columbus Day, Hawaii does not generally recognize the holiday. Instead, many celebrate Discoverer’s Day. In section 8-1.5 of the Hawaii State Legislature, it states: The second Monday in October shall be known as Discoverers’ Day, in recognition of the Polynesian discoverers of the Hawaiian Islands, provided that this day is not and shall not be construed to be a state holiday. Even so, the Hawaii state government does not accept Columbus Day or Discoverers’ Day as a legal holidays. Therefore, state, city and county government offices, in addition to schools, are open for business.

There are often protests that are carried out against Discoverer’s Day. According to Hawaii News Now, the reasoning for the protests is that:

In solidarity with indigenous people around the world, they claim when Christopher Columbus set sail, his colonization led to the suffering of millions and the seizure of their lands.

Discoverer’s Day in Hawaii is not a state holiday by statute since 1988.

Seattle, Minneapolis, Berkeley, and Denver recognize the day as “Indigenous People’s Day” while South Dakota celebrates Native American Day instead.

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