The Oahu Luau
Experience of a Lifetime

What is an Oahu luau? It's a party. It's a celebration of good times, special occasions and events in our lives.

luau oahu hunks

Usually it's in someone's backyard but it has grown in popularity with tourists over the years and now there are commercial ones to participate in.

Almost everyone who comes to Hawaii wants to go to one and fortunately there are professionally produced ones that you can participate in.

Luaus happen in the evening time and most are about 3 hours from 5/5:30-8:8:30pm. All have transportation options except for Waikiki but you can walk to those.

There are 3 main parts to a luau from what I've observed-activities, dinner & the show. First, there's the cooking of the pig in an underground oven called an Imu. This takes all day much like cooking a turkey on Thanksgiving.

When the pig is done it is taken out of the ground during an Imu ceremony during which a blessing is done while 2 young, scantily clad hot studs carefully lift it out of the ground. Please note that luaus in Waikiki don't perform the Imu ceremony (no where feasible to cook a pig underground I presume).

Pre-Dinner Photo Gallery

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Coconut Tree Climber at Paradise Cove Luau

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Most luaus have Hawaiian cultural activities to participate in. These could craft based activities such as basket weaving or making a Haku (headband of sorts). There are usually demonstrations of traditional tasks such as climbing a coconut tree, ancient fishing or making of clothing. Some luaus will give everybody a mini hula lesson or give free temporary Polynesian tatoos. The Imu ceremony takes place at this time as well. This all happens before dinner.

Oahu Luau Food Gallery

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luau oahu kalua pork

Kalua Pork

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The pig is then shredded and seasoned and if done just right is still juicy and not too salty.

In the buffet line you can expect to find such Hawaiian food offerings as Kalua Pork, Lomi Lomi salmon (looks like salsa but contains chopped tomato and raw salmon), poi (a purple baby food looking stew coming from boiled taro, a purple starch potato) and rice.

Also expect to find other non-traditional offerings such as chicken and/or fish, salad, fruit (hopefully pineapple) and poi rolls. Most people hate poi including myself but it is edible if you eat it with your Kalua pig or dump a bunch of sugar in it.

Poi rolls taste the same as any other roll except that it's really purple inside. Poi tastes so bad because it has no taste and has the consistency of baby food.

Oahu Luau Entertainment Gallery

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luau oahu male dancers

Male Luau Dancers

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The Show

Near the end of dinner a dancer may jump up on stage and begin sashaying slowly to the rhythms of the music while a singer entertains you over the live band. This is usually a mini pre-show before the "real" show.

The real show if done right consists of traditional forms of hula and Polynesian dance such as Tahitian and tells a story. Audience members are usually invited to jump up on stage and participate, especially the men who'll don a coconut bra and grass skirt just for the hell of it.

None of us commoners knows how to dance the hula but just jumping up on stage is fun. The evening concludes with a fire dancer doing all sorts of crazy things over the pulsing beats of the Tahitian drums. It's intoxicating to watch them spin, twirl, toss and eat the fire.

The evening concludes with a big "A-L-O-H-A" and everybody heads home. An Oahu luau can have variations on this theme but this is the basic format.

See my articles on Paradise Cove luau, the Polynesian Cultural Center luau, the Chief's luau , Germaine's luau, the Starlight luau at the Hilton and the Royal Hawaiian Luau for more information and details on each.



PRICING & AVAILABILITY for Luaus on the island of Oahu



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