Traditionally, a luau party was reserved for special Hawaiian events - you know, like a wedding or an anniversary or a visiting dignitary. And in true Hawaiian fashion the luau party wood last for days - with non-stop eating, dancing and drinking. Typically the luau party would feature hula dancers and fire dancers and more. The days of the big traditional luau may be over, but the tradition still lives on in the hearts and minds of many Hawaiians and even non-Hawaiians who want to party like they're in Hawaii.
You don't need to live in Hawaii or even be near a beach if you're going to have a luau party over your very own. You can have one in your own backyard. All it takes is the right atmosphere. That means, music, decorations and of course food. Let's tackle these subjects in reverse order. First up on our luau party list is food. Specifically, the Luau pig.
The traditional Hawaiian Luau pig is roasted in a pit dug deep in the ground. The pit - called an imu in Hawaiian, is usually dug about four feet deep with hot coals laid on the bottom. The pig is rested on top of the coals and then both pig and coals are buried. The heat is contained in the pit and the pig is left to broil for the next 8 hours or so. Remember, you're eating pork, so no mistakes when you're preparing this roast!
While the pig roast may not be for everyone, luau party ideas for food are easy to come by. Just use your imagination! Anything with coconuts and pineapples is fair game. And any drinks with fruit juice and rum will be a crowd pleaser as well. Remember, you're supposed to be in the islands!
The next luau party ideas involve decorations and music. Obviously, you need to get your hands on the traditional Hawaiian garland of flowers, better known as a lie. If you're the creative type, you can probably make your own. But these days, not matter where you live, you can order lie's direct from Hawaii or from an authorized distributor. You'll probably want mandatory dress for the guests to be flowery shirts, straw hats, shorts and sandals. So now you have a handle on the food, the decorations and the dress. As far as ambience is concerned, remember these two items: ticki torches and palm trees! You can usually purchase ticki torches in sets of three or four. They burn on oil and stay lit for hours. If you can't afford real palm trees, then go plastic! The image is the important thing! Are those great luau party ideas or not?
Music is next!
You could take the easy way out and buy a dozen CD's of the Beach Boys. But that doesn't really speak of Hawaii. So why not shop around and buy some vintage Don Ho CD's? Didn't music critics used to call Don Ho the Hawaiian Frank Sinatra? Or was he the Hawaiian Elvis Presley? No matter. Ukulele music is probably an important item to your luau party. And you can purchase CD's with all the music ready to play. Take a look on the internet and have your credit card ready.
Oh, and don't forget about luau party invitations! Due to the amount of coordination involved you'll want to send out your luau party invitations several weeks in advance. Hey, you may even want to forego the invitations and call your guests and ask over the phone. Nail down the list of attendees or you'll be eating roast pig for weeks!
The only item missing is some grass skirts, a hula dancing contest and you're set! Your guests will enjoy the music, the fake scenery, the authentic food (well, the pig anyway) and the lies. Like I said, you don't have to be in Hawaii to have a real luau! Aloha baby!