Welcome to Maui
Attending a Hawaiian luau in Maui gives you the unique opportunity to witness the beautiful telling of the history of Hawaii. A combination of culture and traditions with a mix of dress, dances, storytelling, and feasting provides an unforgettable experience for everyone. Luaus continue to hold an essential role in the lives of native Hawaiians who honor the tradition of celebrating major life events and community bonds. When you’re at a luau in Hawaii, you are ohana (family). To truly experience Hawaii, keep reading for our list of the best Maui Luaus.
What Is A Luau?
A Hawaiian Tradition
A Hawaiian Luau is a traditional Hawaiian feast that is 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, which is 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 guests’ rank and status.
Over time, the luau evolved into a more casual celebration that was enjoyed by people of all social classes. The food and music became more diverse, and the atmosphere became 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. And the proper way to wear your lei is to drape it over the shoulders so that 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 the layers of cloth to reveal the food. This exciting cooking process is seen before the pork is shredded and served.
Generally, your dinner is buffet-style, allowing you 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 that poi (made from taro root), potato salad, sweet potatoes, salads, a variety of tropical fruits, and delicious desserts are offered.
DANCE & STORRYTELLING
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, and this thrilling spectacle will surely leave a lasting impression!