Almost everyone has heard of a luau and has some idea of what this grandiose party entails. Most people think of drinks held in hollowed out coconut shells, hula dancers, fire spinning and lots of brightly colored leis. The concept of a luau is a bit more grey in the state of Hawaii because the original culture is still so predominant and many refer to any party as a luau. Traditionally, a luau consists of a large feast of roasted meats and other edibles, coconut milk, alcohol and live entertainment. Anyone who wants to live on the Big Island will be exposed to luaus at least once during their residence, which is why it’s better to familiarize yourself with the festivities and know what types of fun you can potentially join in on!
What You’ll Find at a Luau
Many luaus are themed after traditional Hawaiian cultural practices, meaning you’ll find lots of vibrant live performances and maybe even form a collection of beautiful leis formed from ferns or colorful flowers. This can either take place by the pool or on the beach with a large, open fire. There will also be a tent to relax under for those who want to escape the sun or just rest their feet with a cool drink.
You’ll also find a large selection of foods to choose from! The original luaus featured no proper utensils. Rather, everything was considered finger food, and the foods available were marked based on how many fingers it took to partake in the meal. Typical foods include haupia, a type of pudding made from coconut milk; roasted pork; kulolo, an almost fudgy confection crafted from coconut flesh; salmon and tomato salad (also known as lomilomi salmon); fruits; chicken and seafood. Should you get the chance to attend a luau, you won’t want to miss out on the chance to try these delectable dishes!
How Luaus Came to Be
Luaus did not always exist within Hawaiian culture. Originally luaus were a segregated affair, and specialty dishes were only allowed to the men. This tradition continued until the year 1819, when King Kamehameha II abolished this law, among many others ruled by traditional Hawaiian religion. King Kamehameha II marked his ending of religious doctrine by joining the island’s women in their meals. This act led to the first luau, and the rest is history! Luaus as we know it have carried on ever since.
In the city of Waikoloa, you’ll find frequent luaus hosted at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, costing $112 for full access. Each luau begins at 5:30 PM on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday and will feature dancing, a bar, live shows, a buffet and much more! If you’re interested in building a life on the Big Island, attending a luau is a great way to familiarize yourself with the culture, as well as take the opportunity to scope out Big Island homes for sale! To learn more about life on the Big Island and get in touch with a Big Island real estate agent!
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