“Kau ka lā i ka lolo, a hoʻi ke aka i ke kino” is a phrase designating high noon; the time when “the sun is directly overhead and the shadow retreats into the body,” or, more literally, “rests the strong sun on the brain, and retreats the shadow into the body.”
“In the beliefs of old Hawaiʻi, morning was masculine and afternoon was feminine. Once a day, the two met in a brief union. Morning then retired, his day’s work done; Afternoon took over. At the time of this meeting, no shadow could be seen.”
“Man’s own mysterious aka (shadow) neither followed nor preceded him nor paced at his side. Instead it retreated into the body, directly into the brain.”
“Near the very region of the spirit pit (tear duct of the eye) through which one’s own living spirit might exit and return in the wanderings of dreams. In the topmost part of the entire poʻo (head), sacred to the aumākua (ancestor gods.)
“In view of all this, what we now call ‘high noon’ was thought a time of great mana (spiritual power.)” (QLCC)
It is suggested that “Kau ka lā i ka lolo, a hoʻi ke aka i ke kino” applies to the sun’s position around noon on any date; but there are times when the sun is exactly overhead.
The Earth’s subsolar point is the point on our globe ‘directly under the Sun’ (where the Sun appears directly overhead.) It’s location is always changing, this point circles the globe once a day.
In addition, once each year it gradually migrates north and then south over the equator, its yearly northernmost and southernmost limits respectively defining the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
This site lets you see where the subsolar point is at your search time (to update, reload):
Equinoxes occur when the subsolar point crosses the equator, once in March (the Vernal Equinox) and again in September (the Autumnal Equinox.)”
In the tropics, the sun passes directly overhead twice during the year; in Hawaiʻi this happens about a month before and after the Summer Solstice (June 20/21) when the Sun is at the highest point in the sky around noon.
This ‘overhead noon’ is sometimes called ‘shadowless noon’ or ‘zenith noon.’ Here in the islands, a term we use for zenith noon is ‘Lāhainā Noon’ (when the sun is directly overhead and many vertical objects cast no shadows.)
This is a modern term, selected by Bishop Museum in a 1990 contest held to select a name for the zenith noon phenomenon. (However, the exact time of Lāhainā Noon is not necessarily ‘noon.’)
The term ‘Lā hainā’ means ‘cruel sun’ in Hawaiian, and while the sun in the islands is almost never ‘cruel,’ it can be pretty intense as it shines directly down from the zenith. (Bishop Museum)
Here’s a link showing shadows leading to Lāhainā noon:
Dates/Times for Lāhainā noon, 2016
Līhuʻe ………….July 11 12:42 pm
Kāne‘ohe……..July 15 12:37 pm
Honolulu………July 15 12:37 pm
Kaunakakai…..July 16 12:34 pm
Lānaʻi City…….July 18 12:34 pm
Lāhainā………..July 18 12:33 pm
Kahului………..July 18 12:32 pm
Hāna……………July 18 12:30 pm
Hilo…………….July 24 12:27 pm
Kailua-Kona….July 24 12:30 pm
South Point….July 28 12:28 pm