Hawaii Isn’t Hawaii Without A Luau (Or Two)

If you visit Hawaii, you absolutely have to go to a luau. It’s practically compulsory.

In case you don’t know, a luau is a traditional Hawaiian feast, usually accompanied by entertainment. So you get food, music, hula dancing and Hawaiian hospitality. What’s not to enjoy? And I was particularly lucky, because during my time in Hawaii I went to not one luau, but two.

The birthday girl at the Smith Family Garden Luau

The birthday girl at the Smith Family Garden Luau

It just so happened that it was Sue’s birthday during our time on Kauai, the first Hawaiian island we visited. And as a birthday surprise, Rich took us all to the Smith Family Garden Luau, at Smith’s Tropical Paradise in the Wailua River Valley.

After our arrival we had time to take a wander around the beautiful gardens, in their stunning setting. Then it was time to dig up dinner. Literally!

The beautiful gardens at Smith's Tropical Paradise

The beautiful gardens at Smith’s Tropical Paradise

A feature of the more traditional luaus is a whole pig roasted in an imu oven, which is basically a hole in the ground. The smells that wafted out of the pit as the mound of sand covering the pig was being removed were amazing. Although I think I’ll give the poi (a purple-coloured paste made by mashing the root of the taro plant) a miss in future.

Here's one I prepared earlier - an imu oven, with the dining pavilion in the background

Here’s one I prepared earlier – an imu oven, with the dining pavilion in the background

Preparing to unearth dinner

Preparing to unearth dinner

During our buffet meal, served in a specially built pavilion, we were taught all about the traditional Hawaiian dance, the hula. Then, after eating our fill, we relocated to the stage area. There we enjoyed a pageant of the various Pacific peoples who have made Hawaii their home over the centuries.

The Smith show begins in spectacular fashion

The Smith show begins in spectacular fashion

Drums 'n' dance

Drums ‘n’ dance

The show ends as it began, with more fire!

The show ends as it began, with more fire!

My second luau was the Old Lahaina Luau in the town of Lahaina on Maui. In many ways the format was the same as on Kauai. But there were more than enough differences to keep things fresh.

Hawaiian Luau, Take Two

Hawaiian Luau, Take Two

The first difference was the setting, since the Old Lahaina Luau is located right on the beach, with a beautiful view across to the island of Lanai (the only one of the six main Hawaiian islands open to tourists that I didn’t get to visit). The grounds also have a different feel, styled as they are to resemble a Polynesian village.

View of Lanai at sunset from the beach at the Old Lahaina Luau

View of Lanai at sunset from the beach at the Old Lahaina Luau

Sue and Lori, complete with floral leis

Sue and Lori, complete with floral leis

What Sue and Lori could see while posing for the previous photo

What Sue and Lori could see while posing for the previous photo

Just to prove I was there too, really!

Just to prove I was there too, really!

There's a pig in there somewhere

There’s a pig in there somewhere

Dinner is served

Dinner is served

Our seating arrangements also differed from my first luau, in that we sat cross-legged on the floor, in the traditional Hawaiian way. (That’s to say, the human guests at our table sat cross-legged on the floor. Being only 3½ inches tall, I sat on the table itself, as usual!) In addition, the dinning area was arranged around the circular stage, so that the show began as you were still enjoying seconds!

The view of the stage from our table

The view of the stage from our table

I love a bit of hula

I love a bit of hula

Wrapping up the show at the Old Lahaina Luau

Wrapping up the show at the Old Lahaina Luau

We were all – especially Sue – really looking forward to experiencing a customary Hawaiian luau, and we weren’t disappointed. I for one would return to the Smith Family Garden Luau or the Old Lahaina Luau any day! Just thinking about, I can almost smell the pork roasting.

The man of the hour, our server (and drummer), Spencer!

The man of the hour, our server (and drummer), Spencer!

Have you ever been to a luau? Why not share your experiences, and then sign up to follow my continuing Journeys here at Jaspa’s Journal, or through my websiteFacebook, Twitter and Instagram?

And if that’s not enough for you, there are now three Jaspa’s Journey novels to enjoy as ebooks! Perfect for Kids 8 – 80!

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About Jaspa

Star of my own award-winning adventure novels, Jaspa's Journey. Geocaching addict & F1 fan. Adventure Journeyer & blogger extraordinaire. Check out my website: www.jaspasjourney.com And don’t forget to download the books and see what the buzz is all about!
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3 Responses to Hawaii Isn’t Hawaii Without A Luau (Or Two)

  1. Angeline M says:

    Beautiful photos. We probably won’t return to the islands until fall, and that seems like such a long time away!

  2. Pingback: Hawaii Isn't Hawaii Without A Luau (Or Two) | J...

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