Going to an authentic Hawaii Luau is a must-see when you visit Hawaii. Each of the Islands has commercial and non-commercial Hawaiian luaus that you can attend.
Using the word Luau to describe this centuries old celebration has only been happening for the past 150 years. Before then, it was known as an ‘aha'aina. Hawaiians used to thrown these feasts as celebrations for special occasions such as the launch of a new canoe. Today, these types of luaus are still held, for example one to celebrate the first birthday of an infant. You participation at a luau makes you ohana, or family. You will love the warm celebratory nature of these traditional gatherings.
Some of the traditional dishes you might encounter on a luau besides the requisite roasted pig is poke, which is raw marinated fish. Some of the dishes you will find at a luau bear heavy influences of the visitors who first came to these islands around 150 years ago.
The Polynesian cultural center, on the north shore of Oahu, has a mock Hawaii luau that they put on indoors. This Alii Luau is great if the weather is not holding up, or if you're new to the Hula experience, this luau is set inside the cultural center, and is complete with all the trappings of a real beachside luau- the lei greeting, hula dancing, and a sumptuous buffet with tradition Hawaiian dishes in an all-you-can-eat buffet.
The Royal Hawaiian Luau is the second largest luau on Oahu Island, the only to take place in Waikiki. This Luau, which occurs every Monday, is one of the best in Hawaii.
The Paradise Cove Luau takes place near the village of Paradise Cove. This Luau is the largest in Hawaii and one of the most respected. Not only will you get to participate in the three hour long Luau at sunset, you will be able to learn about the culture of the Hawaiians during the day through a variety of games and activities.
The Old Lahaina Luau is one of the most dedicated to Hawaii tradition on Maui Island. You will be greeted when you enter the Luau with a real flower Leis and a tropical beverage of your choice. From there, you will get to witness the unveiling of the pig from the underground pit, as well craft exhibitions on the beach. This Luau takes the time to explain the culture and display the old traditions of Luaus in Hawaii.
The Feast at Lele is reminiscent of ancient times. By mimicking the activities of the Royal family of Maui, this Luau is rich in tradition and good food. Each section of the Luau is noted with different dishes that show you the cultural foods of past times. The show starts in Ancient Maui, and evolves towards the more modern traditions of the area.
Hawaii Island only has one luau, which takes place in the Kona village. This Luau celebrates the history of the island, and goes through many of the ceremonial and traditional dances and activities of the old times. There is a 22-dish buffet at this Luau, which lets you sample many Hawaiian and American cuisines.
No visit to Hawaii would be complete without the Hawaiian feast that is known as the Luau. After engaging in an evening of dance, song, food and drink, you will truly feel the warm nature of the Aloha spirit that is at the heart of every Hawaii Luau.