Makahiki – Hawaiian Thanksgiving

Picture 2Na Huihui o Makali’i is a cluster of stars also known as the Pleaides or the Seven Sisters and is much revered in Hawaiian tradition as the place from where the first Hawaiian people came to Earth. In November the appearance of the Makali’i cluster signifies the beginning of Makahiki, the most important season of the year set aside to honor and give thanks to Lono, a fertility and music god who, in agriculture and planting tradition, was identified with rain and food plants. He was one of the four gods (with Kū, Kāne, and his twin brother Kanaloa) who existed before the world was created. It was the celebration of the harvest and a time of personal rest and spiritual and cultural renewal. It was a time when all wars and battles were ceased, tributes and taxes paid by each district to the ruling chief, sporting competitions and contests between villages were organized, and festive events were commenced. Several of the rigid kapu (laws) were eased or temporarily set aside to allow more freedom of activity and easy celebration.

“Here is your nourishment, o gods of Wakea’s descendants. Increase the growth of the land. It is freed, it is freed, it is freed.”

“Here is your nourishment, o gods of Wakea’s descendants. Increase the growth of the land. It is freed, it is freed, it is freed.”

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