Saturday, February 9, 2013
Kona is the name of a moku or district on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi in the State of Hawaii. The term "Kona" is sometimes used incorrectly to refer to its largest town, Kailua-Kona.
In the Hawaiian language, kona means leeward or dry side of the island, as opposed to ko‘olau which means windward or the wet side of the island. In the times of Ancient Hawaiʻi, Kona was the name of the leeward district on each major island. In Hawai‘i, the Pacific anticyclone provides moist prevailing northeasterly winds to the Hawaiian islands, resulting in rain when the winds contact the windward landmass of the islands - the winds subsequently lose their moisture and travel on to the leeward (or kona) side of the island. When this pattern reverses, it can produce a Kona storm from the west.
Kona is the home of the world-famous Ironman World Championship Triathlon which is held each year in October in Kailua-Kona. The Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park marks the place where Captain James Cook was killed in 1779. Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park and Honokohau Settlement and Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park are in Kona.
The volcanic slopes of Hualālai and Mauna Loa in the Kona district provide an ideal microclimate for growing coffee. Kona coffee is considered one of the premium specialty coffees of the world.