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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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.

Retreat House
Maui
Ala Kukui Hana Retreat
4224 Hana Highway
Hana, HI 96713
Summary

Ala Kukui is a cultural center for native Hawaiian spiritual and intellectual advancement. Our retreat space offers a unique opportunity to engage with our local community of cultural practitioners who pay respect to the environment through traditional Hawaiian practices.

Spago by Wolfgang Puck at The Four Seasons Resort Maui
Maui
Wolfgang Puck's Spago
3900 Wailea Alanui
Wailea, HI 96753
Summary

At Spago in the Four Seasons Resort Maui, guests will enjoy a sunset and evening that is guaranteed to remember. Whether you are planning an intimate affair or a gala event, Spago offers versatile private dining. The private dining room or entire restaurant is available for your special occasion.

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