Day 4: August 11, 2015. Our wedding day! We celebrated that evening by attending a luau. It was super fun! The Smith's Family Garden Luau has been around for four generations, and you certainly feel welcomed into their traditions and family, or ohana. As we entered the garden we were greeted with smiles, hula dancers, fire dancers, puka shell necklaces, and a photo of our family with a male and female dancer.
Then, we board a tour train that took us around the gardens as the guide shared his knowledge of Hawaiian trees, flowers, and history. There are peacocks, and beauty everywhere.
As the pig is raised from the earthen imu (a pit in the ground), men in hula skirts sound off with blowing through conch shells (Pu). These shells are considered a gift from life giving waters, and can make a sound across the land to begin a ceremony/event/ tradition.
From there we went into a shaded area to sit and eat. There is plenty of food to go around for every guest, as well as Hawaiian juice for the kiddos, and mai tai's for the adults. On stage are ukelele players, singers, and hula dancers. They teach about the hula dance, and what the movements mean. We sat at a large table with other guests, sometimes it was awkward, but mostly everyone was smiling, talking about their vacation, and introducing themselves. The pork was incredible! Never have we tasted pork cooked so well. There was also mahi, which you can get all over Kauai, but their mahi, and chicken too was all very delicious. We tried the poi, but unless you grow up eating poi, it is definitely an acquired taste.
Next it was off to the show. It began with an impressive and stunning event. A beautiful woman rising up out of a volcano, Pele, the goddess, and there was fire, a waterfall, and a story. The show covered dances and traditions from Hawaii, but also Tahiti, Samoan, New Zealand, China, and Japan. It truly was a feast for the eyes and ears. The music, colors, light effects, costumes, stories, it was all done so well. Most of the show was very captivating. The men were powerful and loud both on drums, dance, and chants. All of the women were enchanting and graceful. The energy during the show presenting ancient tradition, and between male and female dance and communication was astounding. You see in each segment the beauty of each culture, and the divine within each. All of this while sitting outside under the stars and palm trees. It feels magical.
If you ever go to Kauai, the Smith's Family Garden Luau is an event you will want to book!