In fact, King Kamehameha II often invited hundreds of guests; sometimes, they ate in several shifts because there was not enough space for everyone. Nowadays, luau parties are held on all islands, both for tourists and for celebrations. Hawaiian luaus are rooted in tradition. According to Aloha-Hawaii, in ancient times, Hawaiians celebrated traditional holidays to celebrate special occasions (such as the birth of a baby, a successful harvest, or victory in battle).
It was a way of honoring and thanking the gods for all their good fortune. Nowadays, you can find luaus all over the island. They're a great way to learn about Hawaiian culture, sample delicious traditional Hawaiian food, and celebrate another day in this beautiful state. However, keep an eye out for luaus that is too tourist-oriented.
If you're going to attend a luau party, you have to do it right. A good way to know if a luau is worth it or not is to take a look at what is on the menu. If the menu skips traditional dishes such as kalua pork, salmon and poi, you'd probably better look elsewhere. Honestly, many luaus are aimed at tourists and feature cheesy jokes, mediocre dances and lots of alcohol.
Most visitors who are disenchanted by luau say that the problem is simply food. Traditional Hawaiian food just doesn't feel right on everyone's palate. Now that you know which tourist attractions to avoid, check out these 15 tourist activities that locals love, as well as the 13 lies that guidebooks tell you about Hawaii. While most people think that luaus only include Hawaiian hula dances, it's actually quite rare that they only have Hawaiian dancing.
Waikiki is the second largest entertainment city in the country after Las Vegas, and many of the best singers, dancers and comics began performing for tourist luaus. One of the most popular luaus on Big Island is the Luau Voyagers of the Pacific at the Royal Kona Resort. Another specialty of many luaus is lomi salmon (a mixture of smoked salmon, tomatoes, peppers, onions and crushed ice). Quora user Colin Barrett generally recommended not attending luaus, but offered alternatives for travelers looking for culture.
And since luaus parties can be canceled due to rain, it's good to have vacation days left in Hawaii in case you need to reschedule them. In addition, some luaus include other Polynesian dances from New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga or even dances from Asia. Some luaus allow you to bring a stroller so that your baby or toddler can sleep while you can enjoy the show. The most successful commercial luaus today are those that don't claim to be authentic Hawaiian.
Most commercial luaus today eliminate the laborious task of digging the imu and waiting for the main course. Some luaus are mixed in potato salad (my favorite) and others have grated carrots, but otherwise it's mostly macaroni, mayonnaise and a little spices. There are luaus for babies, which are given on the child's first birthday; luaus at church, the local equivalent of the church dinner; and family luaus, which are sometimes celebrated for dozens of relatives under a tent on the lawn and that last for days.