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Treat Yourself to Hula on Your Hawaii Vacation

“Hula is the language of the heart; therefore the heartbeat of the Hawaiian people.”

~ King Kalākaua 1874-1991

The hula is a cultural tradition not to be missed when visiting the Hawaiian islands. Born in a time before written language, ancient Hawaiians used this dance to tell stories, preserve culture and connect with their land and their gods. Today, hula is alive and thriving as a vibrant art form which you can experience when visiting the islands of Hawaii.

 

Hula is More Than Grass Skirts and Ukuleles

There are two main types of hula — Hula Kahiko and Hula Auana.

 

Hula Kahiko is the traditional form of hula, patterned after ancient styles of voice, motions and choreography. This style of hula is typically performed to chants and accompanied by traditional Hawaiian percussion instruments such as the pahu or ipu.  It is regarded as being a dance of spiritual connection to ancient Hawaii and requires much dedication and training to master.

 

Hula Auana is the modern form of hula. It is influenced by contemporary times and is considered to be a more flowing, less rigid style of hula. It typically utilizes instruments such as the ukulele, steel guitar, guitar, bass or piano. This is the form of hula that is more commercially popularized and is likely what you think of when you call images of hula to mind.

 

The Best Hula Festivals of Hawaii

Both forms of hula are a treat to experience and you can see them performed widely at events, festivals and resorts throughout the Hawaiian islands. That said, if you want to see the best of the best in hula, the Merrie Monarch Festival on the Big Island is where to be. This week long festival happens in April. Tickets are known to be totally sold out within three days of opening sales, so if you want to go, plan accordingly! There is also the Ka Hula Piko Festival on Molokai in May, the Prince Lot Hula Festival on Oahu in July, and the Mokihana Festival on Kauai in September.

 

Where to See Free Hula Shows on Maui

 

If you’re vacationing on Maui, there are a number of free hula shows you can take in nearly every day of the week. Ka’anapali Beach Hotel hosts a free hula show every night at 6:30 p.m.; Kapalua Shops has a show every Thursday at 10 a.m.; Lahaina Cannery Mall has free hula shows Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:00 p.m.; Lahaina Center has a show on Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m. and Fridays at 3:30 p.m. and the Whalers Village in Ka’anapali has shows on Monday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m. as well as free hula lessons on Tuesdays at 3:00 p.m.

Whether you’re hoping to get tickets to the Merrie Monarch festival or simply take in a free, local hula show, we have luxury vacation rentals near the action. Contact Hawaii Bound Vacations to take advantage of our concierge services and book the ultimate Hawaii vacation getaway!

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