Traditional Hawaiian Luau
History of the Luau
No visit to Hawaii is complete without attending a luau. Meaning party or feast, a luau usually consists of live music, food and entertainment. Luaus first began in 1819 when King Kamehameha II abolished rules prohibiting women from eating with men, the result was the first great celebration. Initially referred to as ahaaina (aha for gathering and aina for meal) the term luau soon took hold to represent the events. Luau has been the name ever since.
What to Expect
Live Music - What's a party without music? Music is part of the very fabric of Hawaiian culture and an integral component of a luau. From Polynesian drums to the ukuleles or guitars, music is an important aspect of the feast and is an expression of Hawaiian pride.
Food - Often served buffet-style, there are many types of food that can be enjoyed at a Luau. However, there are some traditional foods that tend to find their way onto most Luau menu’s such as:
Kalua Pig – Pork that is cooked underground over several hours and usually served shredded
Poi – Taro root that is pounded into a smooth paste. Pale purple in color, this dish can have a sour flavor
Laulau – Meat wrapped in luau or taro leaves. It’s said that the name luau came from this practice
Haupia – Pudding made from fresh coconuts
Poke – Meaning to cut cross-wise, usually a fish but not exclusively, this dish is accompanied by condiments such as soy sauce and seaweed
Entertainment - Luau guests can expect to be entertained while eating. Types of entertainment can include women dancing the Hula Kahiko, a traditional form of the dance that sometimes includes percussion and chanting or the Hula Auana, a hula where stories are told within the dance. The latter type of hula is usually accompanied by music. In addition to the hula, fire dancers may perform their art, showcasing a flawless manipulation of fire. Both types of dance are impressive to watch and the perfect accompaniment to the Hawaiian Luau experience.