Thanksgiving: Hawaiian Style! Makahiki

Long before the Pilgrims, native Hawaiians have celebrated "Makahiki," the longest thanksgiving in the world, which lasted four months—approximately November through February. During this time, both work and war were forbidden.

As the most important holiday of the year, Makahiki is the traditional Hawaiian celebration of the harvest and time of personal rest and spiritual and cultural renewal. It was a humbling experience. We have so much to be thankful for! We are all so fortunate to live in a beautiful environment, surrounded by sunlight, sea breezes, warm rain and inviting landscapes.

Our islands are rich and fertile from volcanic soil, and we share our ecosystem with a diverse range of flora and fauna. We have access to delicious and abundant fresh fruits and vegetables all year round.In traditional Hawaiian culture, giving thanks was an everyday affair. Giving, whether it was in the form of food, shelter, appreciation, love or aloha, was an integral part of everyone’s daily life. As we contemplate all we have to be thankful for, we also have an opportunity to consider what we can give back.

- Caitlin Rose

Hau'oli Lā Ho'omaika'i

Kalua Turkey

If you sit down at any local family’s Thanksgiving Day table, you will smell the smoky scent of kalua turkey that has been prepared in an underground oven called an imu. With Hawaiians having hundreds of years of experience cooking underground, it’s only natural that every November someone in the neighborhood will be digging an imu for the big day.

The same place we cook our pigs is where you will find us placing our turkeys for Thanksgiving.

Like anything good and worthwhile, cooking a turkey in an imu requires a lot of prep work and muscle for a great payoff. My tutu (grandmother) and tutu kane (grandfather) always prepared our turkey with Portuguese sausage, garlic, Hawaiian salt, and a few other secret ingredients. They stuffed the turkey, wrapp