If you are going to be in Hawaii over the New Year holiday, you may want to learn this phrase: Hau’oli Makahiki Hou. It means Happy New Year and it is pronounced as follows:
Hau’oli — “how-oh-lee”
Makahiki — ”mah-kah-hee-kee”
Hou — “ho”
In the Hawaiian language, the word makahiki means year. The Makahiki season (roughly around October to February time) was celebrated in Hawaii for centuries. In ancient Hawaiian culture, the time of Makahiki was a peaceful time to enjoy harvest, feasts, religious ceremonies and relaxation. The Mahakiki season also defined the transitional time between harvest and new planting — e.g. the new (agricultural) year.
The Hawaiian word hau’oli means happy, cheerful, joyful. While hou means new in this context. So, if you try to literally translate “hau’oli makakiki hou” from Hawaiian to English it would be “happy year new”.
As 2014 nears, I’d like to be among the first to wish you Hau ‘oli Makahiki Hou!