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Celebrate your Makuahine and Makuakane

'Ohana means "family" and as Lilo and Stitch taught us, that means no one gets left behind or forgotten. Often, we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and forget to really appreciate our family for the joy they bring to our lives.

In May, we celebrate our makuahine (the Hawaiian word for "mother") and in June our makuakane (the Hawaiian word for "father"). One of our favorite ways to celebrate special occasions in Hawaii is by throwing a luau.

If you can't bring mom and dad to the islands, bring the islands to them with an at-home luau! We've crafted the steps to preparing a festive luau in honor of Mother's Day or Father's Day this year:

Step one: Find an open area or use a large backyard to host the luau-themed party. From the buffet to the hula dancers, you'll need plenty of space for your guests to enjoy the luau.

Step two: Prepare traditional Hawaiian dishes. Food is central to any luau as it's an unwritten rule that no guest should leave a luau hungry. A few favorite luau dishes (also featured on our own luau buffet menu) are lomi lomi salmon, taro rolls, poi, kalua pork, and teriyaki chicken. For dessert, cool haupia or steaming rice pudding. Many luaus serve mai tais to complement the festive atmosphere. You can find recipes for these and many other traditional Hawaiian dishes online.

Step three: Present a lei to your guests, especially the guests of honor! A lei symbolizes the spirit of Aloha and is given and worn at many celebrations and festive occasions.

Step four: Bring in the entertainment. We suggest not trying your hand at fire/knife dancing—save that for the professionals at the Hanalei by the Sea Luau. But luaus incorporate many musical instruments such as ukulele, guitar, and drum to accompany the hula dancers. Hula dancers can be found in many cities outside of Hawaii, so check your local community resources. You might find an authentic hula dancer in your own neighborhood!

Step five: Have fun! Here on Kauai, we understand the importance of slowing down and savoring the moment. Relax and enjoy the good times shared with family and friends.

From our Hanalei Colony Resort 'ohana to yours: Hau`oli La Makuahine and Hau`oli La Makuakane ("Happy Mother's Day" and "Happy Father's Day")!