A luau (Hawaiian: lūʻau) is a traditional Hawaiian party or feast that is usually accompanied by entertainment. It may feature food such as poi, Kalua pig, poke, lomi salmon, opihi, and haupia, beer, and entertainment such as traditional Hawaiian music and hula. Among people from Hawaiʻi, the concepts of "luau" and "party" are often blended, resulting in graduation luaus, wedding luaus, and birthday luaus.

Hawaiians roasting pig for luau, c. 1890
Hawaiians roast a pig for an 1890 lūʻau
Luau at Ainahau, 1898
Princess Kaiulani's lūʻau banquet at ʻĀinahau for the U.S. Commissioners in 1898
Dancers and musicians at a commercial lūʻau


Robert Louis Stevenson at Royal Luau, 1889
Robert Louis Stevenson at royal lūʻau, 1889

In ancient Hawaiʻi, men and women ate meals separately. Additionally, women and the rest of society were not allowed to eat foods that were uncommon or foods that were only served during special occasions. However, in 1819, King Kamehameha II removed all the religious laws that were practiced. King Kamehameha II performed a symbolic act by eating with the women, thus ending the Hawaiian religious taboos. This is when the lūʻau parties were first created.[1]

People dancing at a lūʻau


Earlier, such a feast was called a pāʻina or ʻahaʻaina. The modern name comes from that of a food often served at a luau; squid or chicken lūʻau, which consist of meat, lūʻau (or taro) leaves, and coconut milk. The main dish of the luau is Kālua pig, cooked in an imu (earth oven). Another dish that is served is poi, made from the roots of taro. This feast was usually served on the floor; on the mats there were usually large centerpieces. In most cases the centerpieces were made of leaves. Utensils were never present during a luau; everything was eaten by hand. For example, poi received its name from the number of fingers needed to eat it: "three-finger, two-finger, or the thickest, one-finger poi".

A traditional luau consists of food such as:

Food at a traditional Hawaiian luau
Food at a luau on Oahu in 1996

Luau-themed parties

Luau-themed or Hawaiian-themed parties vary in their range of dedication to Hawaiian traditions. For example, some extravagant affairs go so far as to ship food from the islands, while others settle for artificial lei, maitais, and a poolside atmosphere.[2]

To have a luau-themed party, it is essential to have an open area, such as a backyard, because luau are celebrated under large tents in outdoor areas. Also a lei is a very common item in a luau. A lei is a necklace of flowers, ferns, or kukui nuts that men and women wear. At luau-themed parties, the guests can make their own lei or they can be bought. At these types of parties entertainment is a must. The instruments used are typically the ukulele and the drums. There are also dancers.[2]

Some credit Donn Beach with the initial popularity and commercialization of luaus within the continental United States.[3] A Life magazine article from 1946 graphically displays one of his famous luaus that he held in Encino, California.[4] In a 1986 interview Beach described his role in shaping private, home based luaus into larger public affairs, where he included entertainment from singers such as Alfred Apaka.[5]


  1. ^ "History of the Hawaiian Luau". Retrieved January 3, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Celebrating the Luau with Flower Leis". March 15, 2015. Retrieved March 18, 2016.
  3. ^ Bitner, Arnold (2001). Hawai'i Tropical Rum Drinks by Don the Beachcomber. Honolulu: Mutual Publishing.
  4. ^ "Life magazine" (Sept 23, 1946). Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  5. ^ Sinesky, Alice (September 16, 1986). "Interview With Donn Beach" (PDF). The Watumull Foundation, Oral History Project.

Further reading

  • Brennan, Jennifer (2000), Tradewinds and Coconuts: A Reminiscence and Recipes from the Pacific Islands, Periplus, ISBN 962-593-819-2.
  • Philpotts, Kaui (2004), Great Chefs of Hawaiʻi, Honolulu, Hawaii: Mutual Publishing, ISBN 1-56647-595-3.
  • Pukui, Mary Kawena; Samuel H. Elbert (1986), Hawaiian Dictionary, Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press, ISBN 0-8248-0703-0

External links

  • Media related to Luaus at Wikimedia Commons
Alan Wong

Alan Wong is a chef and restaurateur known as one of 12 co-founders (along with Sam Choy, Roy Yamaguchi, Peter Merriman, Bev Gannon and more) of Hawaii Regional Cuisine. They came together to form an organization to create a new American regional cuisine, highlighting Hawaii's locally grown ingredients and diverse ethnic styles. In 1992, they all came together and compiled a cookbook, The New Cuisine of Hawaii to be sold for charity. Wong and Choy are alumni of the Kapiolani Community College Culinary Arts program. Wong has several restaurants in Hawaii, as well as one in Japan.

In 2009, Wong cooked a luau at the White House for President Obama at the annual White House Congressional picnic for members of Congress and their families.

In 2006, Wong appeared as a guest judge on the television cooking competition Top Chef (the episode, part one of the season two finale, aired on January 24, 2007). The Top Chef contestants, after enjoying a luncheon hosted by Wong welcoming them to Hawaii, were challenged to cater his birthday luau.

In 2001, he was awarded Chef of the Year by Santé Magazine. Also in 2001, Gourmet Magazine ranked one of his restaurants number six in a listing of America’s Best Fifty Restaurants. In 1996, he was awarded the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Pacific Northwest. In 1994, Wong was recognized by Robert Mondavi Winery as one of 13 Rising Star Chefs in America.

Back from Vacation

"Back from Vacation" is the 12th episode of the third season of the American comedy television series The Office, and the show's 40th episode overall. It first aired on January 4, 2007, on NBC, and was the first episode to air after the December holiday hiatus. "Back from Vacation" was the first script written by Justin Spitzer for the series. Julian Farino served as the episode director.

The series depicts the everyday lives of office employees in the Scranton, Pennsylvania, branch of the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. In this episode, Michael Scott (Steve Carell) returns from his vacation in Jamaica and has a luau in the warehouse to celebrate. It is revealed that he went to Jamaica with Jan Levinson (Melora Hardin) when a racy photograph of him and Jan is circulated. Meanwhile, Karen Filippelli (Rashida Jones) and Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) have an argument over Karen's living situation, leading to Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer) offering him advice.

According to Nielsen Media Research, the episode was watched by an estimated 8.80 million viewers. Among the 18–49 demographic, it earned a 4.3/11 ratings share and helped NBC finish in first place for the night. "Back from Vacation" received generally positive reviews from critics, with Carell's performance receiving positive attention in particular.

Benguela railway

The Benguela Railway (Portuguese: Caminho de Ferro de Benguela (CFB)), also called the Katanga-Benguela railway, is a Cape gauge railway line that runs through Angola from west to east, being the largest and most important modal of the type in the country. It also connects to Tenke in Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the Cape to Cairo Railway (Kindu-DRC à Port Elizabeth-SAR).

Its logistical facility is the port of Lobito on the Atlantic coast, from where it exports all types of products, from minerals (from the Copperbelt region), food, industrial components, live loads, etc.

From the Angolan section of Lobito to the Luau, it is run by the Empresa do Caminho de Ferro de Benguela-E.P. From Dilolo to Tenke is run by the Société nationale des Chemins de fer du Congo.


A cocktail is an alcoholic mixed drink, which is either a combination of spirits, or one or more spirits mixed with other ingredients such as fruit juice, flavored syrup, or cream. There are various types of cocktails, based on the number and kind of ingredients added. The origins of the cocktail are debated.

Joseph Stephen Crane

Joseph Stephenson "Steve" Crane (February 7, 1916 – February 6, 1985) was an American actor and restaurateur. A Columbia Pictures actor in the early 1940s, Crane opened the Luau, a popular celebrity restaurant, in 1953 and established a successful 25-year career in the restaurant industry. In addition to his own accomplishments, Crane is often remembered as Lana Turner's ex-husband.


Kālua is a traditional Hawaiian cooking method that utilizes an imu, a type of underground oven. The word kālua, which literally means "to cook in an underground oven", may also be used to describe the food cooked in this manner, such as kālua pig or kālua turkey, which are commonly served at luau feasts. Luau, in Hawaiian is actually the name of the taro leaf, which when young and small after being steamed for a few hours resembles cooked spinach. The traditional luau was eaten on the floor over lauhala (leaves of the hala tree were woven together) mats.

Traditionally, a hardwood fire is built inside a pit large enough to contain the food you are cooking, the stones, and the vegetation used to cover the food. Stones are placed on top of the fire in the pit, taking around 2-3 hours to reach their maximum temperature. Most important is the selection of stones that contain very little moisture to avoid stones exploding from the steam generated by the heat. Once the stones have become extremely hot, they are spread out over the coals and the pit is lined with vegetation such as banana trees that have been pounded to make them pliable. A layer of ti leaves (Cordyline fruticosa) would then be spread over the layer of pounded banana trees and the food to be cooked placed on top. Meat to be cooked would be salted and in the instance of cooking a whole pig, some hot stones would also be placed inside the body cavity to ensure the meat is fully cooked.

To maintain even heating and to retain the meat's natural moisture, the meat is covered with more layers of vegetation such as ti and banana leaves then covered with a layer of soil at least several inches deep ensuring that no steam is escaping. The layers of vegetation covering the food must extend past the edges of the pit to ensure the food isn't contaminated by the soil it is buried under. The meat is then left to cook in the pit for several hours. When the meat is fully cooked, it is removed from the imu and shredded. Modern adaptations to the traditional cooking method include the use of wet burlap material as a substitute for the vegetation or to reduce the amount of vegetation needed, and also the use of non-galvanized steel chicken wire or mesh wrapped around the food to aid in its removal when cooked. The characteristic flavor of Kalua Pig is imparted by the smoke from the hardwood but more importantly the use of ti leaves to wrap the meat. The flavor of the ti leaf is what differentiates Kalua Pig from other methods of cooking a whole hog slowly using a hardwood fire.

Kālua pig is a main tourist attraction at many luaus, though it is sometimes made using a gas or electric stove with artificial mesquite or kiawe liquid smoke. Other tourist businesses use substitutes instead vegetation or use an imu pao, an above ground variation of the imu. The term "Kalua pork" has been used by famous Hawaiian cook Sam Choy to describe pork shoulder butt which is rubbed with sea salt, wrapped in ti leaves, and slowly cooked in oven using liquid mesquite smoke rather than an imu.


Laulau is a Native Hawaiian cuisine dish. The traditional preparation consisted of pork wrapped in taro or luau leaf. In old Hawaii laulau was assembled by taking a few luau leaves and placing a few pieces of fish and pork in the center. In modern times, the dish uses taro leaves, salted butterfish, and either pork, beef, or chicken and is usually steamed on the stove. Laulau is a typical plate lunch dish and is usually served with a side of rice and macaroni salad.In the classical preparation, the ends of the luau leaf are folded and wrapped again in the leaf. When ready, all the laulau is placed in an underground oven, called an imu. Hot rocks are placed on the dish and covered in banana leaves and buried again. A few hours later the laulau is ready to eat.

Similar Polynesian dishes include Tongan "lupulu" (containing corned beef) and Samoan "palusami" and "fai'ai" (which can contain fish, eel, shrimp, or other seafood alone or in combination).

List of MTV series albums

Various singers and bands from countries around the world, including Brazil, Germany, Colombia, Poland, the United States, India and Japan, have released MTV-branded albums after performing on MTV shows, a majority of these coming from MTV Unplugged. Most of the live albums are released as audio-only or as visual concert performance albums. Some albums are released as combinations of the two. In Brazil, albums are generally released as Acústico MTV, Luau MTV, or MTV ao Vivo, all different programs from MTV Brasil. MTV has also released compilation albums containing music videos or tracks from the various releases.

List of Pee-wee's Playhouse episodes

This is the complete episode list for Pee-wee's Playhouse. A total of 45 half-hour episodes including 1 primetime special were recorded for CBS from 1986 until 1990.

List of airports in Angola

This is a list of airports in Angola, sorted by location.

Angola, officially the Republic of Angola, is a country in south-central Africa bordered by Namibia on the south, Democratic Republic of the Congo on the north, and Zambia on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean. The exclave province of Cabinda has a border with the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Angola is divided into eighteen provinces and 163 municipalities. The country's official language is Portuguese and its capital is Luanda.

Luau, Moxico Province

Luau is a municipality in Angola in the province of Moxico on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Until independence, the town was called Teixeira de Sousa, having been named after the Portuguese Prime Minister António Teixeira de Sousa. The town once had a population of nearly 90,000 due to its creation as a stopping point on the Benguela railway, however, the town has downsized considerably since independence. It was developed as a railroad town by Sir Robert Williams, who was a friend of Cecil Rhodes.

Luau Airport

Luau Airport (Portuguese: Aeroporto de Luau) (IATA: UAL, ICAO: FNUA) is an airport serving Luau, a municipality in the Moxico Province of Angola. It is near the border between Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In February, 2015, Luau International Airport was opened by Angolan President, José Eduardo dos Santos. The new airport is 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) west of Luau Airport.

Luau International Airport

Luau International Airport (IATA: pending, ICAO: pending) is an airport serving Luau, a municipality in the Moxico Province of Angola. It is 6.5 kilometres (4.0 mi) west of the city, and may replace the Villa Teixeira de Sousa Airport (IATA: UAL, ICAO: FNUA), an unpaved airstrip that is within the city.

Luau city is on Angolan border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and is opposite the DRC city of Dilolo. The airport is part of a transportation plan that includes restoring rail and road linkage with the Katanga Province of the DRC. The airport was opened in February, 2015, by Angolan President, José Eduardo dos Santos.

Luau MTV

Luau MTV is the second live album released by Brazilian band Nando Reis e os Infernais as a CD and DVD. The album features a number of special participations: Andréa Martins (vocalist of the band Canto dos Malditos na Terra do Nunca), Negra Li, Andreas Kisser (guitarist of the band Sepultura), and Samuel Rosa (vocalist of the band Skank). The song "Sou Dela" reached #10 at the Brazilian Top-40 Charts.

Pig roast

A pig roast or hog roast is an event or gathering which involves the barbecuing of a whole pig.

Pig roasts, under a variety of names, are a common traditional celebration event in many places including the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Cuba as well as the US state of Hawaii (a luau) and in the Deep South (pig pickin'). A pig roast is a traditional meal in the Balkan states of Serbia and Montenegro, and it can often be found on the menu of traditional taverns and bars: kafana. In Southeast Asia, a pig roast is a staple among the Hindu, Buddhist, and Christian communities, notably among Catholic Filipinos and Hindu Balinese people, or Buddhist Chinese people.

Squid lū'au

Squid lū'au is a traditional Native Hawaiian cuisine food and part of modern fusion cuisine of Hawaii. It is made with squid (or octopus), taro (lu'au) leaves, coconut milk, garlic, water, and Hawaiian salt.


"Surfin'" is a song by American rock band the Beach Boys, written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love. It was released as the first Beach Boys single (with "Luau" on the B-side) in November 1961 on Candix Records and it later appeared on the 1962 album Surfin' Safari.

The single effectively began the Beach Boys' music career, establishing them at the vanguard of what would later be regarded the "California Sound". Initially, the group were trying to think of something original and creative that they could write a song about. Brian Wilson remembers that "One day, my brother Dennis came home from the beach and said, 'Hey, surfing's getting really big. You guys ought to write a song about it."The song features Mike Love on lead vocals with Carl Wilson on backing vocals and acoustic guitar, Al Jardine on backing vocals and stand-up bass, Brian Wilson on backing vocals and snare drum and Dennis Wilson on backing vocals. The single peaked at number 75 in the US; it was never released in the UK.

The Beach Boys later re-recorded the song for their 1992 album Summer in Paradise.


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.