Hawaiian Luau | Luaus in Hawaii | Go Hawaii

Luau

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Luau of Hawaii

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).

 

Where to Experience a Luau

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Haleakala - Maui
Multi-Island
Sunshine Helicopters
1 Kahului Airport Road - Hangar 107
Kahului, HI 96732
Summary

Sunshine Helicopters offers helicopter tours of Maui, Molokai, Big Island Hawaii and Kauai. With over 90% of the State of Hawaii accessible only by air, enjoy a helicopter ride and soar with us in the blue skies above the Hawaiian Islands aboard our state-of-the-art helicopters.

Hotel Molokai's Entrance
Molokai
Hotel Molokai
1300 Kamehameha V Hwy.
Kaunakakai, HI 96748
Summary

A genuine hideaway from all things mainstream. Located on the exotic beach of Kamiloloa, you'll find our Polynesian village of bungalows replete with kitchenettes and Wi-Fi. Hotel Moloka'i is just five minutes from the island’s largest city, Kaunakakai.

Mokulele Airlines
Multi-Island
Mokulele Airlines
73-350 U'u Street
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
Summary

Mokulele Airlines has the newest fleet of aircrafts in the state and operates over 120 daily flights from 9 airports, Honolulu & Kalaeloa (Barbers Point) airports on O‘ahu, Kapalua, Kahului & Hana airports on Maui, Kona & Waimea airport on the Big Island, Ho‘olehua & Kalaupapa airports on Mokoka‘i.

Multi-Island
Hawaiian Airlines
3375 Koapaka St. Suite #G-350
Honolulu, HI 96819
Summary

Hawaiian has led all U.S. carriers in on-time performance for each of the past 10 years (2004-2013) as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Consumer surveys by Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and Zagat have all ranked Hawaiian the highest of all domestic airlines serving Hawai‘i