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Have you ever thought about taking a piece of Hawaii back to the mainland with you?
Visiting the Hawaiian Islands is an amazing experience for most people. Hawaii boasts so much beauty in every corner, that it can be very tempting for tourists to take a piece of the island home. As tempting as it may be – DON’T DO IT!
We recommend that you stick to photographs and t-shirts. You might just find yourself cursed if you try to take a physical piece of the island home.
Packing a few lava rocks or a handful of sand for a remarkable keepsake is harmless, right? Not so. Possessing or removing any natural mineral is illegal and could cost you some hefty fines. Hawaii is big on the preservation of natural resources. But aside from the legalities, there is another BIG reason not to take it with you…LUCK!
Hawaiian culture is one of many superstitions and legends. One of which is the legend of Pele. Pele, the Goddess of Fire (trivia!), is known for her fiery temperament and powerful personality. There are many legends of Pele that illustrate lover’s quarrels, epic battles with siblings and the driving away from her native Tahiti to the Hawaiian Islands.
Legend also has it that if you take any of the natural minerals including lava rock, sand or dirt from where Pele placed it, she will curse you, bringing you bad luck and misfortune not long after removing what she considers hers from the island. Knowingly removing even the smallest rock can land you in hot lava with Pele. While many people believe this to be superstition, Hawaii receives many packages of returned lava rock from tourists who claim misfortune since possessing the rock. Returning what belongs to Pele is believed to be the only way to break the curse.
Well — it turns out — Pele's curse is not an ancient myth at all.
It is modern legend, however, and some people attribute it to a disgruntled park ranger who was sick of people carting off rocks on his watch. Still others think tour guides made up the curse to discourage tourists from bringing dirt and sand onto the buses. Either way, each year hundreds of visitors send packages back to Hawaii full of rocks, sand, and other natural materials in an effort to relieve their consciences and change their luck.