Fun Facts - The Luau


Everyone knows that a lüàu is a big feast, but actually the word lüàu is a misnomer. The word lüàu refers to the leaf of the taro plant served at a lüàu. The correct word is päìna, which means a gathering of people for the purpose of dining in a celebratory way– in other words-a party! But today, even Hawaiians use the word lüàu to refer to this party gathering. If you have an opportunity to go to a lüàu, you should go for a real Hawaiian experience. There is usually lots of great food, music and hula. The food traditionally served at a lüáu includes kalua pig, which is pork that has been cooked in an imu or underground oven, fish, limu (seaweed), crab, he’e (octopus), opihi (limpets), lau lau (pork and vegetables wrapped in leaves), and poi.


Local Hawaiians have lüàu to celebrate important occasions such as birthdays, weddings and graduations. An especially important lü`au is for a baby’s first birthday. The reason the baby lüáu is so important is that traditionally in some Hawaiian families, the baby was not given a name until the first birthday. This gave the grandparents and others a chance to watch the baby and pick a name appropriate to that baby’s mission in life. That is why so many Hawaiians have nicknames such as honey, sweetie, girlie, boy, junior, braddah, sistah—these were the names they had that first year.



More Fun Facts:

Fun Facts - The Luau
Fun Facts – The Hula
Fun Facts - The Language
Fun Facts - Our Island
Fun Facts - Our Food
Fun Facts - The Ukulele
Fun Facts - Kauai
Fun Facts - Oahu
Fun Facts - Maui
Fun Facts - Molokai
Fun Facts - Lanai
Fun Facts - Niihau and Kahoolawe
Fun Facts - The Big Island