Most people think of the Luau as a Hawaiian tradition but luau is a traditional feast throughout the Polynesian Islands including Tahiti, Bora Bora, and even the New Zealand Maori hangi has it roots in the tradition of a feast cooked in an earth oven. Of course not everyone wants to dig a 6 foot hole in their back yard so you may have to make some compromises or move the party to the beach etc.
The typical cullinary focus is usually based on pork but you can have chicken or fish and a big selection of vegetables including sweet potato. You may struggle to find Poi ( tarrow root ) in the local supermarket but if you google “Luau recipe” you will find lots of ideas such as at Aloha Friends
Of course you have to have ‘lei’ – which doesn’t need to be flowers but they do look best. You may think the lei is a tourist trinket but in Tahiti they are still a common adornment at parties and celebrations.
Grass skirts are not easily come by but again in Tahiti the colourful Pareo is the choice for both vahini and the guys. The pareo can be worn around the waste as pictured short or full length or as a full body wrap click on the photo on the left for instructions. It is light, comfortable and oh sooo sexy.
For some reason the Mai Tai is seen as the classic drink for a Luau but really it was concocted in California and named Mai Tai when a visiting Tahitian tasted and pronounced it “Maita’i” meaning ‘good’. Beer and wine is perfectly acceptable if you want to keep the crowd under control.
Now if you plan to try the hula then you can take your time but if the ‘ote’a is your ambition you better start practising soon – here is a quick lesson.