Movement. Culture. People. Ho’olaule’a!

By CHRIS PATERSON

Whew! We all made it through winter and the keiki (kids) are back in school gearing up to finish the school year. So much excitement seeing their friends and teachers again after a couple of weeks off, and there are only a few months to go before Summer Break!

Our keiki in Hawai’i usually start their Summer Break at the end of May and return to school by the first week of August. And did you know that every May, we are dazzled by a Hawaiian celebration known as the “Ho’olaule’a” (HO-oh lau LAY ah)?

With performances by all of our students, Ho’olaule’a is truly special.

Kids practice their hula, chants, songs, and performances for months in preparation for the honor to perform! It is truly a beautiful sight to see all of the keiki come together, to show their Aloha to all of their ‘ohana.

Ho’olaule’a – Shake, Shake, Shake!

In Hawaiian, the word Ho’olaule’a, means festival. Or gathering for a celebration, if you will. A great opportunity to preserve the friendship and good will among a diverse gathering of people.

Paying homage to the days of the Hawaiian Monarchy, a Royal Court is made up of students that have applied for the chance to participate. Generally, they’ve had to write essays to express why this is important to them and then the chosen few are voted upon by the students and staff of the entire school! After the King and Queen are chosen, the others are assigned as representatives of each island, and adorned with their island’s color theme. We get a glimpse into the past as they are all formally introduced to the crowd and the Queen graces us with her hula.

When it comes to Hoolaulea, culture is part of the curriculum

After the Ho’olaule’a formalities, let’s bring on the keiki. It’s so wonderful to see all of the grade levels come together and shine!

The littlest ones start the show by singing songs. As we get higher up into the grade levels, we are usually “wowed” by the caliber of talent in Hawai’i’s students. Their love, dedication, and passion for Hawaiian culture is truly inspiring!

Ho’olaule’a is not limited to schools. In fact, a ho’olaule’a can be held anytime of the year as a Hawaiian celebration of culture and ‘ohana.

If you’ve never been to a Hawaiian celebration, add this one to your bucket list

These celebrations can turn into some of the most memorable and fun block parties you’ll ever attend! There is live entertainment, local food booths, crafts, games, and lots of ALOHA! What a great opportunity to try something new.

At this events, we usually find ourselves looking for “poi balls”, sometimes called “poi mochi”. We’ve noticed that most people come to Hawai’i and are afraid to try the poi at the luau. It’s something that most would agree is an acquired taste! This is your chance to eat it and ENJOY it and with a little sugar and rice flour added, it’s deep fried and served up hot to order. SO ONO (delicious)! Hey… did somebody say, “Donut?”

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