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Hawaii Celebrates New Year's

Updated on December 28, 2017
elayne001 profile image

Ruth, a.k.a. Elayne Kongaika, was raised in the orchard town of Orem, Utah. She married a Polynesian and has had amazing travel experiences.

Hawaii is one of the last places to say goodbye to the Old Year and to greet the New Year. You might think the time for fireworks and sparklers is only on the 4th of July, but in Hawaii, it is even bigger during the New Year’s Celebration. In fact, it can be a very noisy evening on into the wee hours of the morning.

Young and old alike stock up on aerial fireworks which require a permit to use. It can get pretty smoky, almost as bad as when the Kona winds blow the vog (volcanic air pollution) over from the Big Island. Visitors to the islands are mesmerized by the firework displays throughout the islands.

Because of the Chinese influence in Hawaii, there are tons of firecrackers and it is not unusual to see a whole string of firecrackers lit. Usually there are music groups entertaining while the fireworks are being displayed and of course there are plenty of grinds (food). You can even catch the Star of Honolulu (a Cruise ship) where you can cruise, dine, dance and watch the fireworks on the shore.

Right on Waikiki Beach there is one of the biggest fireworks displays on Oahu. Also, the Aloha Tower Marketplace manages to shoot fireworks from platforms docked in Honolulu Harbor. There are also celebrations on Maui, The Big Island and Kauai.

The weather is usually very pleasant during the New Year Celebration. It is winter but that means that it may rain, may get in the 60s but otherwise should be very pleasant. Some families take this last opportunity before work and school begins again to go camping on the many beaches on the islands.

New Years falls during the same time of the year that Hawaiians traditionally honored the earth for giving them plenty to eat. This Makahiki (mah-kah-HEE- kee) traditionally was a period of resting and feasting. No wars or conflicts were allowed during this time and it could last up to four months.

So as we say in Hawaii, Hau'oli Makahiki Hou! (Happy New Year)

Have you been to Hawaii on New Year's Eve?

See results

Food is also a big part of the celebration for New Years in Hawaii. This includes

poi - fermented taro paste (don't knock it 'til you try it - I love it!)

chicken long rice - so yum!

mung bean noodles

laulau - pork, chicken or beef (taro leaves) - very good for da body!

lomilomi salmon - raw fish

poke - raw marinated fish (ahi - tuna) melts in your mouth


© 2009 Elayne


Submit a Comment

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Thanks for your comments gjcody. Yes, We have a Chinatown here in Hawaii and it looks very similar to what you would see there. Hope you can visit some day.

  • gjcody profile image


    8 years ago

    Thanks for the in site into your celebration ....seems like everyone is really enjoying it. One thing I did not know is that Chinese had influence in Hawaii. Thanks you for sharing best to you!!

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Thanks frogyfish for your comments. Hope you can come to Hawaii some time and witness it for yourself.

  • frogyfish profile image


    8 years ago from Central United States of America

    Nice to read about our celebration - very different and something I would enjoy to share....but you are a looong way away.You have several intersting hubs I must come back to read. Thank you for becoming my fan too!

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    That's right electricsky. Hawaii is the 50th state. When were you here? I'm surprised you didn't see the fireworks. There are always hula dancers here. I even took hula lessons myself, but probably wouldn't wear the coconut bras.

  • electricsky profile image


    8 years ago from North Georgia

    I enjoyed seeing Hawaii, twice, as a matter of fact.

    Although they weren't celebrating New Year's it was a festive vacation anyway. Lots of hula dancers. I was surprised they used to be part of Japan, before they became our 50? state was it?

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Thanks Papa Sez for your comments. We seem to have a few accidents now and then but they haven't banned it yet. Aloha!

  • Papa Sez profile image

    Papa Sez 

    8 years ago from The Philippines to Canada

    It must have been awesome fireworks display. I only get to watch this on tv or video as the local government has banned firecrackers because of irresponsible use that sometimes lead to accidents (loss of fingers, fire, etc). In recent years, we make noise using horns, music and simply banging two objects together like cymbals, etc.

    Thanks for sharing this experience elayne001.

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Actually I am having a cold Utah Christmas with the grandkids, but I have enjoyed many Hawaii New Year's Celebration. Fun and noisy. Aloha and hau'oli makahihi hou.

  • pddm67 profile image


    8 years ago from Queens, New York

    Sounds like it's THE place to be. Have an awesome evening and Hau'oli Makahiki Hou to you too :-) Rock on!

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Thanks for all the comments folks. I appreciate it and wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year!!

  • LianaK profile image


    8 years ago

    Sounds like a lot of fun! Have fun Rob and family. Love you guys.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Hau'oli makahiki hou Mom! We'll be doing our part to light up the Waipahu ski tonight, but won't have to do too much with all our Filipino neighbors rocking the fireworks for sure....awesome free show.

  • suramahe profile image


    8 years ago

    WOW, looks wonderful. Wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR...!!! May your all dreams come true in this new year...!!!

  • evanxg852000 profile image


    8 years ago from London

    Very nice article, good to know about other people

  • breakfastpop profile image


    8 years ago

    Sounds like a fabulous celebration. It's snowing where I am!

  • diogenes profile image


    8 years ago from UK and Mexico

    Wish I was there! Thanks, Bob

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Looks wonderful. I wish I was there for a nice vacation!

  • Rose West profile image

    Rose West 

    8 years ago from Michigan

    Oh my goodness, you are so right about all those fireworks! It's insane how many fireworks go off on New Years here - so noisy, but still fun.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 

    8 years ago from London, UK

    Thank you for a lovely insight of Hawaian Celebration.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Wow, it must be beautiful, It sounds wonderful. I have always wanted to go to Hawaii. thank you for sharing this.

  • IslandVoice profile image

    Sylvia Van Velzer 

    8 years ago from Hawaii

    How nice to find a hub about New Year's celebration in the Islands. Our neighbors do the whole works and it's fun watching them.


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