Mele Kalikimaka

I came across some interesting Hawaiian Christmas facts that I would like to share:


  • Before the arrival of Christianity, the forerunner to the Christmas traditions of Hawaii is the four-month New Year celebration of rest and feast to honor the earth called Makahiki. However, many of the Christmas traditions were brought to the islands by the missionaries in the 19th century.
  • The first recorded Christmas in Hawaii was in 1786 when the captain of the merchant ship, Queen Charlotte, celebrated a large Christmas dinner while docked at the island of Kauai.
  • Hawaiians decorate Palm trees for outdoor displays and they substitute Santa Claus’s sleigh and reindeer with an outrigger canoe and dolphins.
  • Xmas carols are sung in Hawaiian and accompanied by ukulele or guitar by choirs and bands while families celebrate luaus and picnics on the beach or in their backyards.

Speaking of picnics, I would be remiss if  I didn’t mention the Christmas luau. This feast features the Kalua pig as its main course but might also include other foods such as poi, poke (raw fish), lomi salmon, opihi (freshwater snails) and haupia (coconut milk-based dessert which is similar to a blancmange).


From all of us at ICAS we wish you and your family a most blessed and joyful HOLIDAY SEASON.

About islandculturearchivalsupport

Island Culture Archival Support (ICAS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of records pertaining to the cultural identity of island peoples in Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia whose national and public archives, libraries, cultural centers, and business organizations are underprivileged, underfunded, and understaffed. The specific purpose for which this nonprofit corporation was formed is to support the needs of these South Pacific cultural heritage institutions by helping to preserve and make accessible records created for business, accountability or cultural purposes. The organization will endeavor to add value by providing resources or volunteers to advise, train, and work among island residents to support their efforts in building their future and preserving their collective memory through the use of modern archival techniques.
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