suggested luaus

Learn About Hawaii Luaus

music and dance

What all Hawaii luaus have in common is island-style live entertainment, featuring music and dances with traditional island costumes from different Polynesian cultures. The Hawaiian Islands are known for hula dancing. Hula dancers will, with their smooth and rhythmic moves, portray the words of the song (mele) in this visual dance form. 1/4

The two main types of hula are the ancient hula kahiko and the modern hula auana. Ancient hula is accompanied by chants and traditional instruments, while hula auana might also include Western-influenced musical instruments, including the guitar, ukulele and double bass. 2/4

Most Hawaiian luaus also feature music from other Polynesian islands, such as the popular Samoan fire-knife dance, called siva afi (siva means dance and afi means fire). The dance features complicated acrobatics that include the twirling of metal knives that are covered with a cotton sheet on each end. The cotton ends are set on fire during the performance. It is an exciting spectacle to witness. 3/4

Other cultural dances at some of Hawaii's best luaus include the Maori haka dance, which features vigorous movements and stamping of the feet with rhythmically shouted accompaniment. The haka is just one of New Zealand's traditional dances and there are many forms of the haka. Another Maori dance is called poi, where so-called poi balls are connected to a string and swung around in a circular motion. 4/4

Island Feast

Hawaii luaus are known for their lavish buffet dinners, which feature a wide variety of island-style delicacies. These traditional dishes may include the kalua pua'a, which is pork cooked in an authentic imu (underground fire pit). Lau lau is another dish featured at some luaus, which is pork and sweet potato wrapped in steamed luau leaves. 1/2

Luau appetizers usually include lomi lomi salmon, which is made from salted salmon, tomatoes and green onions. And not to forget poi, which is the traditional Hawaiian staple food, made by pounding boiled taro roots and mixing with water until it forms a creamy consistency. Most Hawaiian luaus also feature a variety of continental American dishes, so no one will leave hungry! 2/2

Polynesian Culture

Visiting a Hawaiian luau is a great way to immerse yourself in the local island culture. Prior to the big luau feast, you can watch or participate in a variety of island-style arts & crafts, learn to dance the hula, play the ukulele guitar, weave a head band, or get a temporary Polynesian tattoo. There are usually several cultural booths or stations where luau guests can enjoy some hands-on activities themselves. It's a fun way to learn about Hawaiian and Polynesian culture!

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