There is nowhere else on the planet that you can truly attend an authentic Hawaii Luau outside the Hawaiian Islands and the Big Island of Hawaii offers you a wonderful variety of luaus.
Though there are many Big Island of Hawaii luaus, they all display certain similarities:
The Food: Sharing of the "gift of food" is an integral part of every Big Island of Hawaii Luau. The main ingredient of any luau is "Kalua Pork" or pig. Preparations for the cooking of the pig begin early the day of the luau. A large pit called an "imu" is dug in the sand. Dry, hardwood Kiawe wood (known in North America as Mesquite) is placed into the pit with rounded river rocks assembled on top. The wood is lit on fire and after a couple of hours all that is left on the bottom are hot coals and incredibly hot rocks which will maintain the heat for hours to come. The rocks are then spread evenly on the bottom and juicy, fresh cut banana stalks are placed on top. Finally, a layer of banana leaves provide a bed for the pig. The pig is then place in the pit and covered with more banana leaves and ti leaves and usually a gunnysack to keep the heat in. Finally the pit is covered with a tarp and beach sand. The rocks heat the juicy banana stalks causing a pressure cooker effect in the imu. After 6 to 8 hours the finished pig is unveiled. The intense steam has cooked the meat so it just falls away from the bone and the moisture from the banana stalks has kept the meat moist and delicious.
Other delicacies which are usually provided at a Big Island of Hawaii luau are chicken long rice, lomi lomi salmon, haupia (coconut desert), poi (very nutritious), veggies, salad, steaks, roasted chicken, fresh fish, rice, lots of specialty items, deserts and much more. An open bar is usually provided which includes Mai Tais and other adult beverages while the children are provided with lots to drink. Although you will probably find any number of the items on your plate unusual to say the least, you can always be assured that there will still be plenty of food available that still has some semblance of familiarity.
The Big Island of Hawaii Luau Entertainment: Another integral part of every Hawaii luau is of course the entertainment included from many of the various cultures from Polynesia. Here you will find some variation with regard to what different luaus provide. Very few luaus in the entire state are traditional Hawaiian in that they will only provide dance and song of the hula that is specific to the culture of old Hawaii. The vast majority of the others will provide entertainment that can be found from other cultures throughout the Pacific Rim such as from Tahiti, Samoa (with its famous fire dance), Fiji, and New Zealand. All Big Island luaus are always held during sunset. Most are located on beautiful beach locations with a view of the setting sun over the ocean. They will last about three hours or so in duration and there is no question that you will not only leave full and happy, but with an extra bit of the "Spirit of Aloha" that Hawaii is so famous for.