Mele Kalikimaka - Hawaiian Christmas Tradition

Posted by Christie on 12/9/2014

Photo by Joel Henner

Itís about this time of year when Iím grabbing for my tropical moisture cream to soothe my dry hands and cracked soles that I start dreaming of a Hawaiian Christmas vacation.  Not only is Hawaii a beautiful island full of warm sandy beaches and palm trees blowing in the wind, but an island rich in tradition.  Christmas was brought to the islands by the protestant missionaries in the 1800ís, but even before the Christmas holiday we know today was introduced to the Hawaiian people, they celebrated a festival called Makahiki, which lasted for 4 months.  During this festival, all wars were forbidden, still embodying the essence of peace and goodwill that exists in the Christmas holiday we know today.

Photo by Quinn Dombrowski

Today, you will find similar traditions to those celebrated on the mainland.  Instead of reindeer pulling a sleigh, you might see an outrigger being pulled by dolphins.  And instead of Santa bundled up in his traditional garb, you might find Santa sporting a flowery red Hawaiian shirt. At Christmas dinner, you will feast on a delicious kalua pork with all the trimmings of pineapples, Hawaiian sweet potatoes and poi.  You may even enjoy a holiday luau with the hula being danced to traditional holiday songs being played on the ukulele. 

Photo by Kyle Nishioka

If you visit the island of Honolulu during the holidays, you will want to visit the Honolulu City Lights.  The tradition is kicked off by a tree-lighting ceremony with a 50-foot Norfolk pine and beautiful display of lights.  You can visit this display the whole month of December which includes various trees, wreaths, and sculptures such as the famous shaka santa.  You can even tour the city lights atop a double-decker bus or by trolley.  And be sure not to miss the public workers electric light parade where huge city vehicles parade decorated with thousands of lights followed by some awesome floats and a great holiday marching band.

Photo by billsoPHOTO

This holiday season, we hope that you share many happy moments with your friends and family and that your holidays are filled with joy and laughter.  Kohana Skin wishes you a Mele Kalikimaka and a happy New Year!!!


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