Hau’oli Makahiki Hou

(how-oh-lee mah-kah-he-key ho)

Hawaiian phrase. In Hawaii people say Hau‘oli Makahiki Hou when they wish someone a Happy New Year. It’s a direct translation from the English: hau‘oli means “happy” or “glad,” hou means “new” or “fresh,” and makahiki is easily translated into “year, age; annual.” Like most English adoptions into Hawaiian it works in a Spanglish sort of way.

But anciently makahiki referred to a season that began around mid-October and lasted four lunar  months. During this time there was feasting, religious observances and ceremonies, games, sports, dancing, a respite from work, and a kapu on war. It was a time of peace and prosperity in honor of the god Lono.

May you and your ‘ohana enjoy the aloha of the makahaki season all year long.

Hau‘oli Makahiki Hou!

Example

English: Happy New Year!

Pidgin: Hau‘oli Makahiki Hou!

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