Thursday, December 15, 2016
Hawaii is loved for its natural beauty and easygoing lifestyle but what really attracts me are the people and culture. Polynesian culture is ancient and the traditions that have been passed down reflect a deep respect for the earth and community. I was lucky to witness a traditional Hawaiian sunset ceremony at the Ritz Carlton Kapalua on Maui. Many Hawaiian hotels feature cultural advisers who educate visitors about the culture and organize rituals that many would not get the chance to see. The sunset ceremony starts with the blowing of the conch or pu. Blowing the conch opens most Hawaiian ceremonies and rituals and represents the opening of the event and the sweeping away of negative energy so that it can start with positive intentions.
I took a short video of the conch being blown through the hotel to symbolize the start of the sunset. It's a signal to thank the daylight and prepare for the legendarily beautiful Hawaiian sunset.
This video shows the drumming of the pahu the Hawaiian sacred drum, which symbolizes the heartbeat of the day that is coming to an end. His chants or oli, acknowledges the light from all directions and welcomes the coming night. I was grateful for this glimpse of Hawaiian ritual and it made me even more appreciative of the Maui day and night.