How to Sing Happy Birthday in Hawaiian

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One thing that’s for certain no matter where you are in the world, is somebody will be celebrating a birthday! Join in the fun on your Hawaiian vacation and sing along – we’ve got the words right here:

Hau‘oli la hanau ia oe
Hau‘oli la hanau ia oe

Hau‘oli la hanau ia  NAME OF PERSON
Hau‘oli la hanau ia oe

Roughly translated, “Hau`oli” means “Happy, glad, joyful,” “Lā” means “Day, date, sun”, and “Hānau” means “To give birth, to lay an egg, born.” And if you need some help with the pronunciation, here you go: how-oh-lay la ha-now.

And Hawaiians have a couple pretty cool birthday traditions, too. Here’s a few:

A child’s first birthday is usually celebrated with a lu’au. These are very festive occasions that come from the ancient times when infant mortality was very high. For a child to survive its first year was cause for a celebration. Although health has improved over the centuries, the baby lu’au tradition still carries on today. And a lei is usually worn by the birthday person, no matter how old!


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