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

Friday, December 24, 2010

Mele Kalikimaka and Hau'oli Makahiki Hou from your Ohana at Holualoa Inn

Each year, Holualoa Village fills with joy and celebration at the Annual Music & Light Festival. This year - the 14th annual festival - was no exception. On December 4th, an estimated 2,000 kama'aina and visitors alike enjoyed the delicious foods, talented artists, tree lighting and even a visit from Santa. Favorite local musicians John Keawe, Anela, the Celtic Connection, Greg Shirley, and Bolo performed on three stages throughout the evening, and local shops offered holiday cheer and wonderful gift inspirations.

Christmas was first introduced to Hawaiians in the 1820's by Protestant missionaries from New England. With no literal Hawaiian translation for the words Merry Christmas, the phonetic phrase Mele Kalikimaka was created. Modern Hawaiian Christmas traditions combine mainland customs with the ancient Hawaiian New Year festival of the winter solstice. This celebration, called Makahiki, honors the Hawaiian god Lono and the earth for all its bountiful foods.

The Makahiki season lasts four months, traditionally from November through February, and was customarily celebrated by resting (no work!), feasting, practicing sports, dancing, making offerings to the chief or ali'i, and enjoying family and friends. 

The term Makahiki means year, thus the Hawaiian phrase Hau'oli Makahiki Hou, or Happy New Year. Your Holualoa Inn ohana invites you to ring in the new year with a romantic Hawaii vacation at our Kona bed and breakfast. Enjoy our beautiful rooms, our delicious breakfasts, explore our grounds and all the adventure the Big Island has to offer. Wishing you health, happiness and prosperity in the new year.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holualoa Inn Invites You to Enjoy the Beauty of Mauna Kea on Your Romantic Hawaiian Vacation

The guests of Holualoa Inn woke to Mauna Kea’s peaks strewn with snow on Saturday morning following a tropical Hawaiian rain storm. In ancient times, the mountain peaks were sacred to the Hawaiian people. Mauna Kea - which means "White Mountain" - is said to be the most sacred of them all.

Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the Hawaiian islands, rising to 13,796 feet above sea level. Estimated at almost 1 million years old, Mauna Kea represents 22.8% of the island of Hawaii. The high altitudes at the summit make the air thin and clean, and it's distance from city lights makes it perfect for star gazing. Some of the worlds most powerful telescopes are housed on Mauna Kea, and local observatories offer wonderful star-gazing and educational opportunities. Most notably are the W.M. Keck Observatory and the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy.

The first substantial snow storm in two years, snow on Mauna Kea marks the return of Poli'ahu, the Hawaiian snow goddess. Locals and guests are thrilled to return to the mountain for skiing, snowboarding, sledding and, of course, snowball fights. Now just days after the storm, snow on the south slopes are already beginning to melt. The north slopes however, sheltered from the sun, will remain white and powdery for a while. If you're heading up the mountain, be sure to check the weather and bring warm clothing as winds can sometimes blow between 50-70 miles per hour.

Let your Innkeeper at Holualoa Inn assist you in scheduling your adventure during your next romantic Hawaii vacation.  We provide full concierge services and would be delighted to assist you with all your island activities.  If dashing off the the Big Island is not in the plans for your holiday season, perhaps you would like to join our Fresh Brew Club and enjoy our 100% Kona Coffee from the warmth of your home. 

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Holualoa Inn Welcomes Humpback Whales Home for Their Annual Romantic Hawaiian Vacation

E komo mai to Holualoa Inn.  Our guests have spotted the first whales of the season. You are likely to see the beauty of their breach while enjoying breakfast in our dining room.

Each year from December through April, anywhere from 6,000 to 8,000 na kohola, or humpback whales, migrate over 3,500 miles to the warm tropical waters of Hawaii to breed, give birth, and nurse their calves.  The 5th largest of the world's great whales, the kohola can weigh up to 45 tons, approximately one ton per foot. At birth, calves range from 10-16 feet in length and weigh approximately 3,000 pounds.  Research indicates the kohola have a 40-60 year life span.

Na kohola are called "humpbacks" because of their tendency to round their back while breaching.  To Native Hawaiians, the kohola symbolizes the presence of Kanaloa, the Hawaiian god of ocean animals. Some believe the kohola is an aumakua, or family god, guardian or ancestor.  As kohola are born and bred in the waters of Hawaii, they are considered kama'aina, or native born.  For these reasons, Hawaiians traditionally treat humpback whales with reverence and respect.

Before their winter migration to warmer climates, the kohola summer in the cold waters of Alaska, Glacier Bay and California where they store up on food reserves, eating up to a ton of plankton and small schooling fish (like mackerel) per day.  While in Hawaii, they don't eat at all, focusing instead on their romantic Hawaiian vacation.

One way the kohola attract a mate is through their beautiful whale songs, which can last up to 30 minutes. These songs are haunting, lyrical and are believed to demonstrate male fitness to potential mates.  When the kohola court one another, they slap the water with one of their fins, or sometimes they lie on their back, exposing their bellies, and alternate slapping between fins. They may also raise their heads to lie horizontally with the surface of the ocean, then drop back down under water without swimming forward.

The commercial whaling industry wiped out huge numbers of the once abundant humpback whale.  Thanks to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, the kohola have begun rebuilding their numbers, though they remain listed as endangered. The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary exists here on the Big Island to protect the kohola through education, research, and protective activities. Thankfully, you can join the humpback whale here for a Big Island romantic Hawaiian vacation.

Read what our guests are saying about us at and We are delighted to assist you in planning your island activities.

"This was our 7th trip to the Big Island and our 6th stay at Holualoa Inn.  We have always thoroughly enjoyed our stays there but this time, we really felt like we were coming home!"  Recent Trip Advisor Review

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn