Hau’oli Makahiki Hou

In Hawaii we wish each other Happy New Year by saying Hau’oli Makahiki Hou. According to the Hawaiian Dictionary by Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel H. Elber, this phrase refers to the “ancient festival about the middle of October and lasting about four months, with sports and religious activities and taboo on war.” It was a time of peace enjoyed by all Hawaiians.

In ancient Hawaii, there were many wars among the ruling chiefs of the islands until Kamehameha the Great unified the Kingdom of Hawaii into one government in 1810. On January 17, 1893, mostly United States citizens overthrew the Kingdom of Hawaii and imprisoned the last monarch, Queen Lili‘uokalani. Hawaii became a Republic in 1894, a Territory in 1898, and then the 50th state of the union on August 21, 1959. May you have peace and prosperity in this coming New Year.

Aloha, Mele Fong, aka Ukulele Mele.