Attending Your First Luau: What To Expect
If you will soon be visiting Hawaii, one of the things you'll want to do is attend a luau. This is a traditional Hawaiian party during which you will enjoy food, drink, entertainment, and dancing. Luaus are very laid back; although there are social conventions to follow, Hawaiians will not be overly offended if you are a bit unsure of how to behave or which conventions to adhere to. Still, it is nice to know what to expect when you attend a luau, so here's a look.
1. You will be welcomed warmly.
The Hawaiian culture is all about getting along with others, sharing, and welcoming. You will feel this as soon as you arrive at the luau. The other guests will greet and welcome you, draping a lei made from flowers around your neck. It is customary to keep wearing this lei throughout the luau. It is a symbol of friendship and community. You will also be greeted with the warm word "aloha" (which has many meanings in the Hawaiian language), but in this case, it means both "hello" and "peace."
2. There will probably be a roast pig.
Today, some luaus are becoming a bit more modern and are serving different fare, but traditionally a roasted pig has always been served at a luau. The pig is cooked in a fire pit that is covered with banana leaves. It is truly delicious, seasoned with spices and sauces made from local fruit. The pig will be uncovered in a ceremonial way before everyone starts eating. It is polite to watch as this is done. Then, the meat will be added to a buffet, where you will serve yourself. The food will be plentiful, and you can expect to find fish, fruits, vegetables, and coconut dishes.
3. You'll participate in the dancing.
At most luaus, there are dancers who will entertain you. The entertainment usually starts when the sun goes down. While at first you will just watch the dancers, before long, you will be invited to join them in the dance. It's okay if you do not know how to hula! You can easily follow along with the moves the dancers make and just do your best. Everyone else will be focusing on their own moves, not on watching you.
Attending a luau is a great way to experience Hawaiian culture. Now that you know what to expect, you can relax and have a splendid evening. To learn more, check out a Hawaiian luau package.