Rainbows are called “Anuenue” (Ah-nooeh-nooeh) in Hawaiian.
Hawaii is known as the “Rainbow State” because of the many brilliant rainbows that often appear, arching over her valleys, cliffs and beaches. Rainbows can be seen when the sunlight breaks up as it shines through the prism-like raindrops during a rain shower. To clearly see a rainbow, the viewer must be positioned between the sun and the rain, with their back to the sun. Double rainbows appear frequently in Hawaii!
Honolulu/Waikiki is known as the Rainbow Capital of the World! O’ahu’s windward volcanoes on the island’s eastern edge stop rain clouds in their tracks, causing frequent but brief rain over Honolulu. The tropical climate and hot sun break up the showers, leaving mist in the sky for long periods. This allows rainbows to persist for more than half an hour and even for multiple rainbows to be visible at the same time.
The rainbow is symbolic of the cultural diversity that exists in Hawaii. An ethnic mosaic of nationalities blend and reside on each island with an abundance of aloha and appreciation for the natural beauty that surrounds them. Thus, Hawaii is also known as the “Aloha State.” There is a rainbow depicted on the vehicle license plates in Hawaii, and the University of Hawaii is home to the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors and Rainbow Wahine sports teams.