How to Say Happy New Year in Hawaiian

Happy New Year in Hawaii
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 Mahahiki 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 makahiki hou” from Hawaiian to English it would be “happy year new”.

If you are thinking or dreaming of celebrating the new year in Hawaii, check out our New Year’s Eve articles:

Waikiki/Honolulu New Year’s Eve

Maui New Year’s Eve

– Hawaii’s Big Island New Year’s Eve

Kauai New Year’s Eve

As the new year approaches, we’d like to be among the first to wish you Hau ‘oli Makahiki Hou!

Learn how to say Merry Christmas in Hawaiian language.

13 comments
  1. HAPPY NEW YEAR Sheila !!
    I hope you are having wonderful days !!

    Myself and Marco will be back to wonderful Hawai’i in Summer 2010 !!! so we will be reading your blog EVERY DAY !!!!!
    We need to learn as much as we can !!!
    Marco and I have already treasured some of your precious info and hints !!!

    PLEASE , keep the excellent work up !!!!!!!!!
    Love from Italy , laura

  2. How good to learn how to say Happy New Year in Hawaiian. I am repeating that to my friends and relatives in my native Brazil. In Portuguese (official language of Brazil) it is ‘Feliz Natal’.

    Now I am a happy resident in Molokai, a place I chose to enjoy my retirement. Hou’oli Makahiki Hou to all Hawaiians, Americans, Brazilians and all citizens of this world.

  3. Could you please fix the spelling of Happy New Year – on the first page, the place you click on to get to this page of explanation, you incorrectly spelled it Makakiki. Thank you in advance for correcting this.

      1. It shows up in Google search results. Search on “hau’oli makahiki hou.” Your site comes up first (congratulations). Go to the pulldown “How do you say Happy New Year in Hawaii?” You will see the error there. This probably reflects Google’s earlier harvest of text from your site that you have subsequently corrected. Good luck getting it corrected!

        hau’oli makahiki hou!

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