Scroll to Continue
One of the most festive experiences to be had on a visit to the Hawaiian Islands is a luau – a Hawaiian feast featuring lively music and vibrant cultural performances from Hawaii and greater Polynesia.
History of the Luau
The first feast in Hawaii resembling a modern-day luau was probably held in 1819. Before then, the kapu system of restrictions, religion and resource management separated men and women at mealtimes, even in times of celebration. Other names for these feasts are ahaaina or paina, but over the course of time, the nickname luau – a reference to the taro leaves at the core of many popular dishes – stuck.
Two centuries later, luau are still being celebrated. But it is important to note that despite the name and its Hawaiian roots, not all food or entertainment at a luau today is Hawaiian. A contemporary luau in Hawaii reflects our multi-cultural society. Food at a family luau is as diverse as the various branches of the family tree. Entertainment at a visitor luau often includes dances and music from other Polynesian cultures.
Popular Luau Dishes
- Poi: Pounded taro plant root; a starch meant to be eaten with everything.
- Kalua Pig: Pork prepared in an imu (underground oven) and shredded.
- Laulau: Meat wrapped in luau (taro) leaves and steamed, traditionally prepared in an imu.
- Haupia: Coconut pudding.
- Poke: A term that literally means to cut into pieces, this newly global delicacy is traditionally prepared with raw fish, shoyu (soy sauce), green onions, kukui nut (candlenut), and limu (seaweed).
Find a Luau to Attend
Discover Hawaii and tour with one of our Interpretive Guides who will share a world of rain forests, [...]
Snorkel with award-winning Fair Wind Cruises! Located on the Big Island of Hawaii, our snorkeling tour [...]
If you can dream it, we can do it. Paradise Helicopters offers you the opportunity to create memories [...]
Atlantis Submarines offers a one-of-a-kind underwater experience off the shorelines of Oahu, Maui, and [...]
Kohala Zipline's Kohala Canopy Adventure features elevated suspension bridges, soaring tree platforms [...]
Daily Deluxe Snorkel & Dolphin Watch! Captain Cook Dinner Cruise to Kealakekua Bay, and a Seasonal Whale [...]
For 31 years, Sea Quest Hawaii has been exploring the unseen Hawaii. Join us for a unique and personal [...]
From our two mile long Zipline Through Paradise, to the only volcano tour on the Big Island chosen [...]
Sail down the Kona Coastline aboard our spacious vessel Hoku Nui. Snorkel in the pristine waters of the [...]
Awarded "2006/2007 C.R.U.I.S.E. Tour of the Year" by Princess Cruises! Captain Zodiac is more than a [...]
The Kona Coffee and Tea Company is an Award-winning, single-estate, 100% Kona coffee farm, that is [...]
At Big Island UFO Tours, we introduce you to the unseen world with our advanced 3rd-generation military [...]