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How the Hawaiian People Celebrate Thanksgiving

Lomi-Lomi Salmon, Kalua Pork, Lau-Lau, and Rice (Conway, Neil - Creative Commons via Wikimedia Commons)

The Hawaiian people celebrate Thanksgiving Day, serving such luau-style food as kalua pua’a (slow-roasted pork), lau lau (meat or fish wrapped in ti leaves), lomi lomi salmon (salmon served with salsa), poi (sauce made from taro).

In their ancient culture, the Hawaiian people celebrated Thanksgiving as "a four-month-long festival of giving thanks, celebrating each other, and giving gifts."* It was called Makahiki, which means “year.” Today, we hear the word “Makahiki” used to offer New Years greetings: “Hau’oli Makahiki Hou.”

* Cheung, Marcie. November in Hawaii: Exploring the Highlights of Thanksgiving Celebrations. Hawaii Travel with Kids. September 7, 2023. How to Visit Hawaii at Thanksgiving (2023) (

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