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Friday, April 11, 2008

Throw Your Own Luau!

How to host a Hawaiian party, wherever you are

No matter where you live in the world, it's possible to stage your own authentic lu‘au for an afternoon or evening party, or to celebrate important milestones just as we do in Hawai'i: graduations, birthdays and weddings.

Follow our guide to hosting a lu'au to make your event a success!

Begin with the food

The best part of a lu'au is, frankly, the food and drink. For drink, serve whatever you like, but your lu'au menu is another matter. Depending on your palate you can serve your guests traditional lu‘au fare — such as kalua pork, chicken long rice and haupia — or offer more mainstream choices.

Explore these menu ideas:

Traditional buffet

If you're truly adventurous, you can cook the traditional Hawaiian way by building your own imu oven and whipping up a delectable batch of kalua pork right in your backyard. If that doesn't work up an appetite, some traditional Hawaiian games certainly will.

Details, details, details
Lu‘au are best held outdoors, weather permitting. Decorate with tiki torches (they're inexpensive, drive away mosquitoes, and are available at most garden and hardware stores), flowers, more flowers, and as many green plants as possible. Borrow or rent foliage if you don't have it on hand.

Lu‘au dress is casual! Recommend to your guests the following attire: For men and boys, aloha shirts and khaki shorts or pants. For women and girls, aloha-print sundress or long wrap-around skirt with tank top or light, short-sleeved blouse. Feet should be bare or wearing what we in Hawai‘i call "slippers" (often called "flip flops" or "thongs" elsewhere in the world). No socks, nylons, dress shirts or ties allowed.

Greet each guest with a lei, hug, and a kiss on the cheek.

Lu‘au food is served buffet-style. All dishes go on the buffet table at the same time, guests line up and "grind," as we say in the Islands — sometimes for hours!

Like many other things in Hawai'i, lu‘au are casual. Kick off your shoes, serve the food on paper plates, and enjoy the company of good friends.

Find all your costumes, decorations and more for your luau at http://www.luaucostumes.com/

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