The Makahiki season is the ancient Hawaiian New Year festival, in honor of the god Lono of the Hawaiian religion.

It is a holiday covering four consecutive lunar months, approximately from October or November through February or March. The focus of this season was a time for men, women and chiefs to rest, strengthen the body, and have great feasts of commemoration (ʻahaʻaina hoʻomanaʻo). During Makahiki season labor was prohibited and there were days for resting and feasting. The Hawaiians gave thanks to the god Lonoikamakahiki for his care. He brought life, blessings, peace and victory to the land. They also prayed to the gods for the death of their enemies. Makaʻainana (commoners) prayed that lands of their aliʻi (chief) may be increased, and that their own physical health along with the health of their chiefs be at the fullest.[1]

In antiquity, many religious ceremonies occurred during this period. Commoners stopped work, made offerings to the chief or aliʻi, and then spent their time practicing sports, feasting, dancing and renewing communal bonds. During the four lunar months of the Makahiki season warfare was forbidden which was used as "a ritually inscribed means to assure that nothing would adversely affect the new crops."[2]

Today, the Aloha Festivals (originally Aloha Week) celebrate the Makahiki tradition.[3]

Hoʻokupu gifts to the Hawaiian god Lono during the hookupu protocol presentation of a Makahiki festival at Bellows Air Force Station in Waimanalo, Hawaii, 2010
Hawaiian wrestling matches during Makahiki


The Makahiki festival was celebrated in three phases. The first phase was a time of spiritual cleansing and making hoʻokupu, offerings to the gods. The Konohiki, a class of chiefs that managed land, provided the service of tax collector, collected agricultural and aquacultural products such as pigs, taro, sweet potatoes, dry fish, kapa and mats. Some offerings were in the form of forest products such as feathers. The Hawaiian people had no money or other similar medium of exchange. These were offered on the altars of Lono at heiau (temples) in each district around the island. Offerings were also made at the ahu, stone altars set up at the boundary lines of each community.

All war was outlawed to allow unimpeded passage of the image of Lono. The festival proceeded in a clockwise circle around the island as the image of Lono (Akua Loa, a long pole with a strip of tapa and other embellishments attached) was carried by the priests. At each ahupuaʻa (each community also is called an ahupuaʻa) the caretakers of that community presented hoʻokupu to the image of Lono, a fertility god who caused things to grow and who gave plenty and prosperity to the islands. The Akua Loa was adorned with white kapa streamers and the king placed a niho palaoa necklace on the deity.[2] During a certain time the deities couldn't be upright therefore were laid down or put horizontally as a “sign of homage to the king."[2]

The second phase was a time of celebration: of hula dancing, of sports (boxing, wrestling, sliding on sleds, javelin marksmanship, bowling, surfing, canoe races, relays, and swimming), of singing and of feasting. Some of these games that were played were physical sports. Other games were played for your mind. However, not only were the contestants being judged but their family name was also on the line.[4] One of the best preserved lava sled courses is the Keauhou Holua National Historic Landmark.[5] The Kanaka Maoli were also passionate about the games for their mind. These games consisted of riddles, recitation of genealogies, proverbs, and knowledge of hidden meanings.[6] Our ancestors cherished these games and held them dear to their naʻau. They also placed bets on a favorite champion, which was a common practice in traditional times. Some daring to bet their lives as well. Makahiki games are still practiced today by many organizations and enrichment programs for the younger generation to learn about their ancestors.[7]

In the third phase, the waʻa ʻauhau — tax canoe — was loaded with hoʻokupu and taken out to sea where it was set adrift as a gift to Lono.[8] At the end of the Makahiki festival, the chief would go off shore in a canoe. When he came back in he stepped on shore and a group of warriors threw spears at him. He had to deflect or parry the spears to prove his worthiness to continue to rule.

Arrivals during the season

A royal birth during the season was sometimes given the name Lono i ka makahiki.

The sails and masts of Captain James Cook's ship resembled Lono's Akua Loa. Captain Cook arrived at Kealakekua Bay, near a large heiau to Lono during the Makahiki season in 1778.


The ancient Hawaiians split the year into two seasons.[2] The first was called the Makahiki season which was a period of four lunar months. The second lasted eight lunar months where rituals of were practiced.[2] In the Hawaiian language, the word Makahiki means "year"[3] as well as the change from harvest time to the beginning of the agricultural season. This probably came from Makaliʻi hiki the rising of the Pleiades, known in Hawaii as the Makaliʻi, which occurred about this time.[9] It might also come from ma Kahiki, meaning roughly "as in Tahiti", since the legend of Lono is associated with voyages to and from Tahiti. Its origins are linked to the "return" of Lono, during one of the early migrations, in the form of a mortal man.[10]


The beginning of Makahiki generally is fixed each year by astronomical observations. On the Island of Hawaiʻi, when Makaliʻi (Pleiades) star cluster rises shortly after sunset, usually on November 17, the rising of the following first crescent moon marks the beginning of the season. On Oʻahu, it may begin when Makaliʻi rises above Puʻu o Mahuka Heiau, as seen from Kaena Point, or when the star ʻAʻa (Sirius) appears in conjunction with a particular land form high on a cliff.

See also


  1. ^ Hawaiian Antiquities Mo'olelo Hawai'i. David Malo. 1898.
  2. ^ a b c d e Kirch, Patrick Vinton (2010). How Chiefs Became Kings: Divine Kingship and the Rise of Archaic States in Ancient Hawai'i. Berkeley, CA, USA: University of California Press – via ProQuest ebrary. (Retrieved 18 November 2014)
  3. ^ a b Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel Hoyt Elbert (2003). "lookup of makahiki". in Hawaiian Dictionary. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii Press. Retrieved September 21, 2010.
  4. ^ "Sports and Games".
  5. ^ "Hoʻihoʻi Kulana Wahi pana - Restoring Sacred Places" (PDF). Kamehameha Investment Corporation. 2008. Retrieved September 21, 2010.
  6. ^ "Sports and games".
  7. ^ Kanoa-Wong, Laiana. "Let the Games Begin!".
  8. ^ Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel Hoyt Elbert (2003). "lookup of waʻa ʻauhau". in Hawaiian Dictionary. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii Press. Retrieved September 21, 2010.
  9. ^ Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel Hoyt Elbert (2003). "lookup of Makalii". in Hawaiian Dictionary. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii Press. Retrieved September 21, 2010.
  10. ^ Veronica S. Schweitzer (2006). "The Pleiades Rise". Coffee Times. Retrieved September 21, 2010.

Further reading

  • Handy, E. S. C. Ancient Hawaiian Civilization. Honolulu, HI: Mutual Publishing, 1999.
  • Handy, Edward Smith Craighill; Handy, Elizabeth Green; Pukui, Mary Kawena Native Planters in Old Hawaii: Their Life, Lore, and Environment. Honolulu: Bishop Museum Press, 1972 (rev. ed. 1991). ISBN 0-910240-11-6
  • "The Rebirth of Makahiki" Article about past and current Makahiki activities. Maui No Ka 'Oi Magazine Vol.10 No.4 (September 2006)
  • "Makahiki - The Hawaiian New Year" On-line article on Makahiki traditions.

External links

2016 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

The 2016 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe was a horse race held at Chantilly on Sunday 2 October 2016. The race could not take place at its usual venue at Longchamp Racecourse as that course was closed in 2016 for major redevelopment. It was the 95th running of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. The race was won by Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier's four-year-old filly Found, trained in Ireland by Aidan O'Brien and ridden by Ryan Moore. Moore had previously won the race on Workforce whilst O'Brien was also recording his second success, having trained Dylan Thomas.

Battle of Kealakekua Bay

The Battle of Kealakekua Bay was a battle in 1779 in Hawaii, in which British explorer Captain James Cook was killed.

Christmas in Hawaii

Christmas in Hawaii is a major annual celebration, as in most of the Western world.

Dee Majesty

Dee Majesty (Japanese: ディーマジェスティ, foaled 24 March 2013) is a Japanese Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. As a two-year-old in 2015 he showed some promise by finishing second on his first two starts and then winning a minor race before his season was ended by a leg infection. In 2016 he was one of the best colts of his generation in Japan, winning the Tokinominoru Kinen, Satsuki Sho and St Lite Kinen as well as finishing third in the Tokyo Yushun and fourth in the Kikuka Sho. He was retired from racing after two disappointing efforts in the spring of 2017.

Fraternal Order of Moai

The Fraternal Order of Moai (FOM; also often known as The Moai) is a fraternal order and social club founded in 2005 by Matt "Kuku Ahu" Thatcher, Jim "Chisel Slinger" Robinson and Joel "Cowtown Kahuna" Gunn. The Order uses the Moai statues of Rapa Nui as a theme. An initial goal of the group was to preserve the history of and artifacts from the closed Kahiki Supper Club in Columbus, Ohio. Since then it has grown into "a serious group of tiki aficionados" with activity all over the United States. Some describe the group as "a cult within a cult" when discussing the modern Tiki revival.Members are often fans of tiki culture, the Polynesian pop era, mid-century modern style, and kustom kulture and these styles are reflected in the events held by the group. Some members are artists who produce music, carvings, lamps, and ceramics that tie into the theme of the group. The group has been known to provide assistance with preserving artifacts and expertise to local "tiki" businesses.Even though the group participates in many public events the organization operates like a secret society and many members only identify themselves using aliases. Leaders of the group use obscure titles that combine words from several Polynesian languages.The group exhibits a bizarre sense of humor and places references to use of time travel technology, combating a zombie outbreak and cloning technology in official information published online. Much of this information refers to a claimed network of scientific research labs in the continental United States called the F.O.M. Test Labs.

Hawaiian religion

Hawaiian religion encompasses the indigenous religious beliefs and practices of the Native Hawaiians. It is polytheistic and animistic, with a belief in many deities and spirits, including the belief that spirits are found in non-human beings and objects such as animals, the waves, and the sky.

Hawaiian religion originated among the Tahitians and other Pacific islanders who landed in Hawaiʻi between 500 and 1300 AD. Today, Hawaiian religious practices are protected by the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. Traditional Hawaiian religion is unrelated to the modern New Age practice known as "Huna."


Hoʻokupu is a Hawaiian language term for gifts and offerings. The ceremony dates back hundreds of years, to a time when the average Hawaiian subsisted on manual labor, with little-to-no financial assets. Their gifts were literally the fruits of their personal labors to the Hawaiian aliʻi (rulers), or to visiting royalty. Through time, the gifts became more monetary based and a part of the monarch's wealth. Although they were allowed to approach the monarch with the gifts, they were handed to a royal attendant so as not to touch the aliʻi. In 1869, the visiting Duke of Edinburgh Prince Alfred was accorded a hoʻokupu by Kamehameha V, and broke with protocol by reaching out to touch any gift-giver who wished to shake his hand.The gift protocol is still done for Lono during the Makahiki festival and for celebrations related to Hawaiian kings.

Islam Day (Hawaii)

Islam Day was a day of recognition for Islam and Muslims in Hawaii on September 24, 2009 designated by a symbolic resolution of the State Legislature.


In the mythology of Kauaʻi, Hawaii, Kahōʻāliʻi is a god sometimes associated with the underworld.

Kealakekua Bay

Kealakekua Bay is located on the Kona coast of the island of Hawaiʻi about 12 miles (19 km) south of Kailua-Kona.

Settled over a thousand years ago, the surrounding area contains many archeological and historical sites such as religious temples (heiaus) and also includes the spot where the first documented European to reach the Hawaiian islands, Captain James Cook, was killed. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places listings on the island of Hawaii in 1973 as the Kealakekua Bay Historical District.

The bay is a marine life conservation district, a popular destination for kayaking, scuba diving, and snorkeling.

Keauhou Holua Slide

Kāneaka Hōlua Slide which is better known today as the Keauhou Hōlua Slide is located in Keauhou (original name of this area was Kahaluʻu) on the island of Hawaiʻi. It is the largest remaining hōlua course left in the islands, which needs to be better maintained and preserved as a usable hōlua course. This particular kahua hōlua (hōlua slide) was used in the extremely dangerous activity of sliding across solidified lava surface. Though many had believed for years that this ritualistic practice was restricted to the aliʻi class of men, this is not the case. The majority of oral and written histories of heʻehōlua prior to missionary/western influence was inclusive of the female as well as the male nobility of ancient Hawaii. Contrary to popular belief, heʻehōlua was widely practiced among all the Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) community throughout the paeʻāina (Kingdom). This particular hōlua course was primarily used for ritualistic purposes, but perhaps there were times when it was openly used. There are several burials found throughout the slide area suggesting that injuries and death were common when sliding down this particular course. The remaining length of the slide is approx. 2,600 feet (790 m) long, of the original length which was said to be over 5,280 feet (1,600 m) long. The slide course ended on the shoreline at Heʻeia Bay. Small portions of the hōlua course are still remain on the shoreline at the end of the hōlua slide where the waves meet the rock coastline. When constructed it was first layered with large slabs of pāhoehoe lava with smaller and smaller lava material added until the kahua hōlua was finished off with a fine ash surface to cover those larger pieces of lava rock. When in use, it was covered lightly with pili grass (native to the islands) to provide a medium surface to minimize the friction between the papahōlua and lava rock surface during the practice of heʻehōlua. Today, there is one usable kahua hōlua slide that was constructed in 2011 and is located at Turtle Bay Resort, Kahuku, Oʻahu. Other than that heʻehōlua is practiced today in pastures on the high slopes of Hawaiʻi Island and Maui, as well as on groomed grass hills throughout Hawaiʻi.

This particular site was connected to the Makahiki games, which were considered equivalent to the Olympics of ancient Hawaii.

It can be seen from Aliʻi Highway, across from the Kona Country Club golf course clubhouse. The slide originally went into Heʻeia Bay, but the part below the road was destroyed and is now used by a golf course and vacation homes. The preserved parts above the road are best viewed from the air, such as by following the coordinate link: 19°33′44.43″N 155°57′30.5″W

This area was used by the royal families such as the King Kamehameha III and King David Kalākaua.By the 1950s trees and shrubs were encroaching on the sides of the slide, and sections had settled due to earthquakes. It was added to the list of National Historic Landmarks in Hawaii on December 29, 1962, and added to the National Register of Historic Places listings on the island of Hawaii on October 15, 1966 as site 66000290.

A small museum at the nearby Keauhou Shopping Center includes a reproduction of a hōlua sled and more information about the other historic sites in the area.


In the Hawaiian language, kukini means "runner, swift messenger, as employed by old chiefs, with a premium on their speed."In ancient Hawaii, Kukini were an elite class of men selected to undergo strenuous physical and mental training to become swift foot runners.

Such runners were used in battles, as messengers, spies, and as athletes in foot racing in the Makahiki games. This term has become popular to use as a label for various things. For example, the shoe corporation Nike used the name Kukini for one of the models of their running shoes.

Also, Hickam Air Force Base's newsletter is named "Kukini," as is the newsletter for the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Library named Ke Kukini, and GoGo eBike's Kukini electrically pedal assisted bicycle locate at GoGo Ebike, 1608 Kalakua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96826.

Leontes (horse)

Leontes, (Japanese: リオンディーズ, foaled 29 January 2013) is a Japanese Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He was rated the best two-year-old in Japan in 2015 after winning a minor race on his debut and then taking the Grade 1 Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes on his second and final start of the year. In the following spring he finished second in the Yayoi Sho, fourth in the Satsuki Sho and fifth in the Tokyo Yushun before his track career was ended by injury.


In Hawaiian religion, the deity Lono is associated with fertility, agriculture, rainfall, music and peace. In one of the many Hawaiian stories of Lono, he is a fertility and music god who descended to Earth on a rainbow to marry Laka. In agricultural and planting traditions, Lono was identified with rain and food plants. He was one of the four gods (with Kū, Kāne, and Kāne's twin brother Kanaloa) who existed before the world was created. Lono was also the god of peace. In his honor, the great annual festival of the Makahiki was held. During this period (from October through February), war and unnecessary work was kapu (forbidden). In Hawaiian weather terminology, the winter Kona storms that bring rain to leeward areas are associated with Lono. Lono brings on the rains and dispenses fertility, and as such was sometimes referred to as Lono-makua (Lono the Provider). Ceremonies went through a monthly and yearly cycle. For 8 months of the year, the luakini (temple) was dedicated to Ku-with strict kapus. Four periods (kapu pule) each month required strict ceremonies. Violators could have their property seized by priests or overlord chiefs, or be sentenced to death for serious breaches.

Makahiki (horse)

Makahiki (Japanese: マカヒキ, foaled 28 January 2013) is a Japanese Thoroughbred racehorse. In 2016 he won the Yayoi Sho, Tokyo Yushun and Prix Niel

Moolah Beach

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Prix Niel

The Prix Niel is a Group 2 flat horse race in France open to three-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies. It is run at Longchamp over a distance of 2,400 metres (about 1½ miles), and it is scheduled to take place each year in September.

The race serves as a trial for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, which is held at the same venue three weeks later.

Pu'u o Mahuka Heiau State Monument

Puʻu o Mahuka Heiau State Historic Site on the North Shore of Oʻahu is the largest heiau on the island, covering 2 acres (8,100 m2) on a hilltop overlooking Waimea Bay and Waimea Valley. Puʻu o Mahuka means 'Hill of Escape'. Hawaiian legends have it that from this point, Pele (Volcano Goddess) leaped from Oahu to the next island, Molokai. From its commanding heights, sentries could once monitor much of the northern shoreline of Oʻahu, and even spot signal fires from the Wailua Complex of Heiaus on Kauaʻi, with which it had ties. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962, when it became the center of a 4-acre (16,000 m2) State park. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.The highest of the three walled enclosures may date to the 17th century, with the lower two enclosures perhaps added during the 18th century. These were times of great conflict, and the upper platform appears to have functioned as a heiau luakini (sacrificial temple) to bring success in war. During the 1770s, the overseer of this heiau was Ka'opulupulu, the high priest of the last independent high chief of Oʻahu, Kahāhana. In 1792, George Vancouver's ship, HMS Daedalus, anchored near Waimea Bay to collect water. Three men in his shore party were killed in a skirmish with Native Hawaiians, and may have been taken to the heiau as human sacrifices. After Kamehameha I conquered Oʻahu in 1795, his high priest Hewahewa led religious ceremonies here and the heiau remained in use until the traditional kapu system was abolished in 1819.The first new moon after the Pleiades (Makali'i) as seen from Kaena Point, rising out of Pu'u o Mahuka Heiau just after sunset, mark the beginning of Makahiki, the four months of Hawaiian New Year.

The site can be reached from Pupukea Homestead Road (Highway 835), which starts at Kamehameha Highway (Highway 83) across from Pupukea fire station.

Satono Diamond

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