Welcome to Kauai
One of the things that sets Kauai apart from the other Hawaiian Islands is its commitment to cultural heritage. The island is also known for its picturesque beauty. From Hanalei Bay to the stunning Napali Coast, you can enjoy the vast beauty and laid-back island vibes on Kauai. The island’s love of honoring its traditions and culture makes an authentic Hawaiian luau the best way to make the most of your time here. Keep reading for our list of the best Kauai luaus.
What Is A Luau?
A Hawaiian Tradition
A Hawaiian Luau is a traditional Hawaiian feast often accompanied by entertainment such as music, hula dancing and other cultural performances. The word “luau” comes from the Hawaiian word for the taro leaf, often used in traditional Hawaiian dishes.
The history of the Hawaiian luau dates back hundreds of years to ancient Hawaii. Originally, a luau was a feast reserved only for Hawaiian royalty or high-ranking chiefs to celebrate special occasions such as important religious ceremonies, weddings, and births.
The early luaus were very formal affairs, with strict protocols and specific rituals to be followed. For example, men and women would eat separately, and the food would be served in a particular order based on the rank and status of the guests.
Over time, the luau evolved into a more casual celebration enjoyed by people of all social classes. The food and music became more diverse, and the atmosphere more relaxed and festive.
The Luau Experience
What To Expect
Your luau will likely begin with a traditional lei greeting where you will receive a flower lei as a sign of welcome to the event. Please note that to be respectful a lei should always be accepted. The proper way to wear your lei is to drape it over the shoulders so it hangs both in front and back. Removing the lei in front of the person who gave you the adornment is considered rude.
Before the meal begins, your luau will most likely have an imu ceremony. The imu is an underground oven that uses hot coals and stones to cook the main dish, usually kalua pork. The ritual consists of removing many layers of cloth to reveal the food. This exciting cooking process is witnessed before the pork is shredded and served.
Generally, dinner is buffet-style, allowing guests to sample various dishes and eat leisurely. Remember that every luau is different. Still, you can expect to see pork, chicken and salmon offered at most. You will also find poi (made from taro root), potato salad, sweet potatoes, salads, a variety of tropical fruits, and delicious desserts are offered.
DANCE & STORYTELLING
Depending on your luau, you will be dazzled by traditional hula dancing and storytelling during or after dinner. The dancers will wear traditional dress and dance to music and Hawaiian chants. Your luau may even end with a traditional Samoan fire knife dance. This thrilling spectacle will surely leave a lasting impression!