Thursday, December 30, 2010

Holualoa Inn Welcomes You to the Makahiki Season

The Pleiades
In ancient times, Hawaiian priests would search the night sky for Makali'i, known today as the Pleiades.  The sighting of the Makali'i signified the presence of Lono, the Hawaiian god of fertility, and the start of Makahiki, the four month Hawaiian new year season.  As Lono passed over each district, each island, the Hawaiians would stop work, make offerings to their ali'i (chief) and celebrate.  The Makahiki was a time of joy and prayer - for the prosperity of the land, abundance of harvest and good health for family.

Traditionally, Hawaiian families would come together for a luau and feast on kalua pig, a tender, shredded pork cooked in an imu, or underground pit.  In the early 19th century, immigrants from Portugal, the Phillipines, China and Japan brought their customs to the islands.  Today, the Hawaiian new year is a multi-cultural celebration, combining the rituals (and recipes) of immigrant populations with the ancient Hawaiian Makahiki traditions.  

The custom of mochi pounding is a rite of passage for Japanese males, creating sweet and delicious rice cakes believed to give strength, health, good luck and long life.  The Portuguese use stone ovens to braise meats and bake sweet bread.  Today, as friends, family and community come together to celebrate the new year, Hawaiian kalua pork may be served with Portuguese bean soup and sweet bread, Filipino pork adobo, a variety of Chinese dumplings and, of course, Japanese mochi.

A Hawaiian new year would not be complete without thousands of fireworks set off across the islands, creating a spectacle of lights in the night sky which mirrors the Pleiades.  This custom originates from the Chinese who traditionally use firecrackers to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck in the new year.  As in ancient times, kama'aina and visitors alike enjoy paddling, snorkeling, skiing on Mauna Kea, searching the night sky at the observatory, and the many sports and activities available on the Big Island.

As you plan your 2011 romantic Hawaiian vacation, your Holualoa Inn ohana invite you come home to our Kona bed and breakfast, feast on delicious foods, and enjoy the activities and adventures our Big Island has to offer. Wishing you a healthy, happy new year, and a prosperous and abundant Makahiki season.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn

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