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All Islands Health Talk Lahaina noon" "kau ka la i ka lolo" the day when "the sun rests on the brains" in Hawaii.

Lahaina noon" "kau ka la i ka lolo" the day when "the sun rests on the brains" in Hawaii.

It's that time of year "ancient Hawaiians described as "kau ka la i ka lolo" or  "when the the sun rests on the brains"

You may have also have heard of  "Lahaina noon " when kids go out to put a stick in the ground and observe there is no shadow at noon. Lahaina noon marks a celestial event, the two days in Hawaii when sun doesn't cast a shadow at noon.

While the rest of the USA recognizes the summer solstice as the event when the sun's rays are closest to being direct.  Hawaii is the only state in the United States to experience "Lahaina Noon".

But the exact date changes across the state, Lahaina noon is marked at a different location daily, from north to south. Lahaina Noon in 2011 will be  in Lihue on July 11, and ending in Hilo/Kona  almost two weeks later on July 24. There are two solstices a year, and likewise two Lahaina Noons as the sun crosses over Hawaii on its way to the apex at the Tropic of Cancer.

The northern solstice is in June on Earth, when the Sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer  Equator The Tropic of Cancer in 2011 lies 23° 26′ 16″ north of the Equator.[1] It's position is not fixed, but varies in a complicated manner over time. It is presently drifting south at the rate of almost half a second (0.47″) of latitude per year in the Northern Hemisphere, and the southern solstice is in December, when the Sun is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn which lies 23° 26′ 16″ south of the Equater in the Southern Hemisphere.

The State of Hawaii is located in the North Pacific Ocean just a few degrees south of the Tropic of Cancer,   Hawaii and  other locations between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn receive the sun's direct rays as the apparent path of the sun passes overhead before the solstice and retreats to the south afterwards.

At the exact time of Lahaina Noon, which can occur anywhere from 12:17 to 12:43 p.m., objects that stand straight up (like flagpoles, telephone poles, etc.) will not cast a shadow. The most southerly points in Hawaii experience "Lahaina Noon" on earlier and later dates than the northern parts.

Lahaina Noon is a recent name of this ancient astronomy event used in celestial navigation. It was selected in a contest sponsored by the Bishop Museum in the 1990s," Lahaina Noon" because lā hainā (the old name for Lahaina, Hawaii) means "cruel sun" in the Hawaiian language. The ancient Hawaiian name for the event was kau ka la i ka lolo which literally translates as "the sun rests on the brains."

In Honolulu, you can catch the direct shadow on the SkyGate July 16th  in the ISamu Noguchi Gardens in Honolulu Hale on King Street.

But if you go out shadow watching at noon in Hawaii in mid July, be sure and wear sunscreen and a hat to avoid "the cruel sun".

2011 Lahaina Noon Dates and Times

May 31 12:35 p.m.
July 11 12:42 p.m.

May 27 12:28 p.m.
July 15 12:37 p.m.


May 27 12:28 p.m.
July 16 12:37 p.m.


May 26 12:24 p.m.
July 17 12:34 p.m.

Lanai City

May 24 12:24 p.m.
July 19 12:33 p.m.


May 24 12:23 p.m.
July 18 12:32 p.m.


May 24 12:22 p.m.
July 18 12:32 p.m.


May 23 12:20 p.m.
July 19 12:30 p.m.

May 18 12:16 p.m.
July 24 12:26 p.m.


May 19 12:20 p.m.
July 24 12:30 p.m.


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