The 5 Things You Need for an Authentic Hawaiian Luau
Just what are Hawaiian luaus?
Luaus, as you probably know, are traditional Hawaiian parties. In fact, today, the word “luau” is nearly synonymous with the word “party,” and therefore in Hawaii, people celebrate wedding luaus, graduation luaus, and birthday luaus. If you’re planning on throwing a traditional Hawaiian luau, here are five things that you must have in order to make it successful.
- Traditional luau food. Traditionally, the main course at a Hawaiian luau is called “luau.” It’s a chicken dish made with coconut milk and taro and served to guests sitting on the floor. Other popular dish choices for a luau are poi, pork, or salmon. Get ready to get messy, too, because a traditional luau feast is eaten without the help of any utensils.
- The correct seating arrangements. As noted earlier, the guests at a luau are served their dinner while sitting on the ground. The centerpieces where food is laid were traditionally made of ti leaves, the same plant that is often used to make leis. The ti plant, otherwise known as a cabbage palm or good luck plant, isn’t native to the Hawaiian Islands. It was actually introduced to the region by the Polynesian settlers who first came to live on the islands.
- A tent. Luau’s are typically celebrated in a wide, open area under a tent. If you’re trying to throw a luau in a small space, at least cover it with a canopy or palm tree leaves to help give the effect of a traditional luau.
- Leis. What kind of Hawaiian party would it be if there weren’t leis available for everyone to wear? Traditionally, the flower leis are worn by women and men actually wear leis made of beads.
- Dancing. And of course, what luau would be complete without dancing? Don the leis and grass skirts and step up to join the hula dancing, or traditional Hawaiian dancing. This kind of dancing is rich with history for Hawaiians. It is performed to the beautiful music of stringed instruments and usually tells a story.
Written By: Leo Malagon