Tie the knot on ‘Lahaina Noon’

Royal Kona Resort on Hawaii explains the phenomenon of “Lahaina Noon”:

You’ve heard of “high noon,” but have you ever heard of “Lahaina Noon”? It’s a term used almost exclusively by Hawaiian residents, and it refers to the astronomical phenomenon where the sun passes directly overhead, and sunlight hits the ground at a 90 degree angle. The effect of this is that for a few minutes, upright objects like flag poles or any other vertical item cast no shadow.

Simple Euclidean geometry suggests that at any one time, there is one spot on Earth that’s experiencing Lahaina Noon. However, far from every place gets to: in Northern and Southern latitudes, the sun never rises above a certain angle, and never ends up directly overhead. The word “tropics” refers specifically to those parts of the Earth where this phenomenon does occur (the fact that it’s a whole region is due to the tilt of the Earth’s axis of rotation; if it were perfectly vertical relative to the plane of Earth’s orbit, Lahaina Noon would only happen on the equator).

The tropical Lahaina Noon corresponds to solstices in other regions; Hawaii is, incidentally, the only U.S. state where you can see this phenomenon. Despite what the name suggests, Lahaina Noon can be experienced throughout the Hawaiian islands, and not just in Lahaina town; it just falls on different days depending on the location. For example, in Kailua-Kona (which is where our Resort is located) on the Western side of the Big Island, the 2014 Lahaina Noons fell on May 18 and July 24.

Since Lahaina Noon is the equivalent of solstices, it carries a great significance in many cultures; for centuries, people have made note of solstices and celebrated them, and plenty of folks still do. Due to its long-time association with love and fertility, it’s a favorite time of the year for many couples to get married. We at Royal Kona Resort have hosted ocean-front weddings for thousands of couples throughout our history; if you and your significant other are astrologically inclined, you can book a destination wedding at our Resort and have yourselves a storybook Hawaii wedding where you get to tie the knot at a truly magical moment!

By the way, while you’re planning, be aware that 12:00 PM doesn’t always fall on the exact mid-point of a day, and therefore, Lahaina Noon doesn’t occur at noon sharp – instead, depending on your location in Hawaii, it can fall anywhere between 12:17 and 12:43 in the afternoon. If getting the moment right is important for you, make sure you plan your ceremony down to the minute!