John Fischer is a freelance take trip writer and photographer who specializes in Hawaii and the southern Pacific.

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There are few much better places to celebrate Christmas 보다 in the balmy warmth and sandy shores of Hawaii. If you room heading to the islands for the holidays, brush up on a few of these essential words and phrases to use when trading seasons greetings with the locals.

merry Christmas and Thank friend

Mele Kalikimakais the voice translation that "Merry Christmas" come Hawaiian. Bing crosby released a renowned Christmas tune by the exact same name, for this reason if you take place to forget exactly how to to speak "Merry Christmas" on her vacation, just remember the tune "Mele Kalikimaka."

Another necessary phrase come remember during this gift-giving vacation is mahalo nui loa, which means "thank you an extremely much." even if it is you're cure to a meal at a Hawaiian restaurant or given a traditional island gift, saying mahalo is a an excellent way to express her appreciation for the kindness.

The background of Hawaiian Winter Holidays

The Hawaiian civilization did no celebrate Christmas prior to the arrival of protestant missionaries from brand-new England who first introduced the religious holiday to the Hawaiian people. As a result, many seasonal words and phrases because that which there were no clear Hawaiian language equivalents were translated phonetically.

The first Hawaiian Christmas was held in 1786 as soon as captain George Dixon was docked top top the island of Kauai through the crew that his merchant ship, the Queen Charlotte. In the 1800s, the tradition was used as an giving of goodwill among men and also a Thanksgiving the sorts for the Hawaiian people.

The west Christmas and brand-new Year fall during this exact same time the the year the the Hawaiians traditionally honored the planet for giving them plenty come eat through not enabling wars or conflictsto take place. This period of resting and feasting was calledMakahiki(mah-kah-HEE- kee) and lasted for 4 months.

Because makahiki also method "year", the Hawaiian expression for "Happy brand-new Year" ended up being "Hau'oli (happy) Makahiki (year) Hou (new)" (how-OH-lee mah-kah-hee-kee ho). Together Christmas and brand-new Year space close together, you can even say "Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau'oli Makahiki Hou," or "Merry Christmas and a happy brand-new Year."

essential Holiday Words and Phrases

When visiting Hawaii on her Christmas vacation, you could hear several of the regional Hawaiians using some island words for classic holiday items. From Ahiahi Kalikimaka (Christmas Ever) come wehi (ornament), Hawaiian words for the holiday season include:

Ahiahi Kalikimaka - Christmas EveAkua - GodAloha - loveAnela - angelhau puehuehu - snowflakeHau kea - snowHau'oli - pleasure or happyHoku - starKanakaloka - Santa ClausKanake - candyKaumahana - mistletoeKawa'u - hollyLa'au Kalikimaka - Christmas treeLei - garland or wreathLeinekia - reindeerMakana - giftMalu - peaceMenehune - elfPopohau - snowballWehi - ornament

Knowing these words and also phrases will aid you right in through the locals on your Hawaiian winter vacation. Spread the vacation cheer, great you brand-new friends "Mele Kalikimaka," and you're sure to enjoy your very own Hawaiian Christmas.

See more: Fact Or Fiction?: Feed A Cold And Starve A Fever Idiom Fact Or Fiction

Must-See occasions

Don"t miss out on out ~ above theannual Honolulu City lamp ceremony in ~ the Honolulu Hale (City Hall) if you"re visiting O"ahu. Additionally check out some other fun festive eventson the island throughout the vacation season, choose Santa arriving by canoe or the yearly Pearl harbor Memorial Parade each December 7th.