Top 10 Unique Hawaiian Culture and Traditions Worth Knowing
Hawaii has a long and complicated history, and many of its traditions are not known to people from other places. Most Hawaiian traditions are a mix of practices from the many different cultures that live on the islands. From Polynesia to the edge of the Pacific and Asia, here are a few unique modern traditions of Hawaii.
Hawaiian Culture: 1# A peck on each cheek
When people meet for the first time in Hawaii, they kiss each other on the cheek. It’s a common thing to do, and kids often regret it, especially when there are 20 or more people at a party and they have to greet each other with a cheek kiss. The same greeting is used to say goodbye at the end of an event, and it’s considered rude to leave a party or dinner without giving a kiss to say “a hui hou,” which means “until we meet again.”
Hawaiian Culture: 2# Aloha wear
Aloha wear is the best way to show that you’re from Hawaii. It’s a style of clothes with traditional Hawaiian floral prints or neutral colors that hang loosely, like shirts, mu’umu’u dresses, and even pants for both men and women. When you walk around downtown Honolulu, you will see people dressed in aloha clothes everywhere. Aloha shirts for men are often worn with dress pants and shoes, which is a good outfit for work or even a wedding. Men in Hawaii usually get modern cuts and wear earthy colors like gray, brown, green, and blue. The geometric designs of Manaloa, which are based on nature, are popular right now.
Hawaiian Culture: 3# Kamehameha Day
King Kamehameha the Great was the first king of the Kingdom of Hawaii. His birthday is June 11. In his honor, a festival called Ho’olaule’a, a carnival, a lei-draping ceremony, and a flower parade are held every year, and everyone in the state gets the day off.
Hawaiian Culture: 4# Family reunion
Lau feasts are more than just something for tourists to see. A baby lau, which is a party for a child’s first birthday, is one of the biggest and most talked-about types. After foreign diseases spread to the islands and caused a huge drop in the number of people living there, this celebration began. During this time, it was a big deal if a baby beat a disease and made it to their first birthday. This tradition is still very important. Parents and grandparents start planning parties months in advance and invite everyone from neighbors to distant relatives. Up to 100 people can be invited, and there are always pupus (appetizers), a buffet of local food, Hawaiian music, and games.
Hawaiian Culture: 5# There are no shoes inside.
In Hawaii, people rarely let you wear shoes inside their homes. Shoes and slippers are always left at the front door so that filth doesn’t get tracked inside. This deeply rooted tradition comes from Japan and fits well with the warm weather of Hawaii. The only downside might be having to look through dozens of pairs of slippers or shoes left at the door, especially at a party or event.
Hawaiian Culture: 6# ‘Ohana
In Hawaii, ‘ohana (family) is very important. Even if someone isn’t related to them by blood, but they are a close friend, they are still part of their ‘ohana. In a famous speech in 2009, Obama used the local term “calabash cousin” to say this. This phrase means someone you grew up with and are so close to that you think of them as a member of your family. Also, “aunty” and “uncle” are used instead of “sir” and “ma’am” to make elders feel welcome and related, even though most of the time there is no blood relationship.
Hawaiian Culture: 7# Donation of lei
The most well-known Hawaiian custom is the giving of a lei. A lei is a great gift for many events, such as graduations, birthdays, and retirements. Leis are either hung up to dry at home or put in the fridge to smell over the next few days. Be careful, though; you should never give a pregnant woman a closed lei because it is thought that it looks like a baby being strangled by its umbilical cord.
Hawaiian Culture: 8# Hawaiian weddings
A Hawaiian wedding is unlike any other because the venues can be beautiful or traditional, and the food is unique. A typical Hawaiian wedding reception will have a buffet with klua pork, lomi salmon, rice, poke, and poi. Most of the time, brides choose to do a hula while the groom sits in the front and center. Depending on the couple’s ethnic background or heritage, they might do a Chinese lion dance, play Hawaiian music, or do the money dance. But American wedding traditions like cutting the cake and dancing with the father of the bride and groom are still done.
Hawaiian Culture: 9# New Year’s Eve Sashimi
Raw fish, especially ahi, is very popular in the area (tuna). It started in Japan, but eating sashimi on New Year’s Eve is a must-do in Hawaii. Since there isn’t much fresh, high-quality fish to go around, prices often go through the roof, and fish markets often run out of fish during this time every year.
Hawaiian Culture: 10# Lei Day
May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii. On May 1, people from every island in Hawaii get together to celebrate all things lei. Schools put on Lei Day shows, and those on O’ahu go to Queen Kapiolani Park for a day of hula, live music, local food, lei-making demos, and a lei contest exhibit. Each year, the Mayor’s Grand Prize goes to the lei judged to be the “best in show.”
Topic: Top 10 Unique Hawaiian Culture and Traditions Worth Knowing
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By: Travel Pixy