How Do You Say Happy Birthday In Hawaiian: 4 Simple Ways

how do you say happy birthday in hawaiian
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Whether you are in the archipelago of Hawaii or are just interested in learning Hawaiian, it’s always a good time to learn simple Hawaiian words or phrases apart from “Aloha” and “Mahalo.”

So, if you’re wondering how do you say happy birthday in Hawaiian, this article is for you. Learn how to convey birthday wishes as well as the best ways to celebrate birthdays in Hawaiian customs!

How to Say Happy B-Day in Hawaiian


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Polish up your Hawaiian vocabulary with these four simple ways to say “Happy Birthday” in Hawaiian.

#1. Hau`oli Lā Hānau — Happy Birthday!

The birthday greeting most widely used in Hawaiian is “Hau`oli Lā Hānau.”

“Hau`oli” directly translates to “happy,” “joyful,” “gay,” or glad, while “Lā” means “day” or “date.”It can also mean “sunny” or “the sun.”

And finally, “Hānau” means “to lay eggs,” “be born,” or “give birth.”

This Hawaiian birthday greeting version is pronounced as “how-oh-lay la ha-now,” meaning “happy day of birth.”

#2. Nā lā aloha hānau — Best Birthday Wishes!

Nā lā aloha hānau is another form of Hawaiian birthday greeting that is used quite commonly after “Hau`oli Lā Hānau.”

#3. Nui nā manaʻo — Many wishes!

Another variation of the birthday greeting is to convey positive wishes to someone for the upcoming year.

When translated from Hawaiian, “Nui nā manaʻo” means “plenty of ideas.”

#4. Lana ‘iʻo ka manaʻo — Best wishes!

This is a standard greeting, especially among close friends and relatives, when you want to wish someone well on their birthday.

Hawaiian Birthday Songs

If you are celebrating your birthday in Hawaii or are throwing a Hawaii-themed birthday party, why not sing the traditional birthday song and get into the island spirit!

It’s easy to sing, too, since the Hawaiian birthday song shares the same tune as the English version.

Here are the lyrics to the Hawaiian Happy Birthday song so you can sing along:

Hau‘oli la hanau ia oe
Hau‘oli la hanau ia oe
Hau‘oli la hanau ia [Name of the celebrant]
Hau‘oli la hanau ia oe

Hawaiian Birthday Traditions


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Different cultures across the world have their own birthday traditions. And with the intricate history that Hawaii has, the islands have a number of interesting birthday traditions. Here are the three most common birthday traditions:

#1. Wearing A Lei

The person celebrating their birthday always wears a lei around their neck. A lei is a garland made out of flowers, shells, or even bird feathers and gifted to the birthday celebrant. It is a symbol of love and respect.

No matter how old or young you are, you celebrate your birthday with a lei around your neck.

#2. Celebrate With A Lu’au

A baby’s first birthday is celebrated with a lu’au, which is a huge Hawaiian feast or party.

This festive get-together involves traditional Hawaiian food, tropical music, and entertainment where friends and relatives revel in the celebrations of the child’s birthday.

These birthdays are an event that the parents have usually been planning for months. Expect about 100 guests to show up. If you’re invited for a baby lu’au, it’s a celebration you want to experience!

#3. Greet With a Kiss and Leave The Shoes Outside

If you’ve been invited to a Hawaiian birthday and are unsure of the customs, start with these two things.

First, regardless of what the event is, Hawaiian greetings include a kiss on the cheek. Even for strangers.

Second, if it’s an indoor event, do not wear your shoes in the house! Always leave your footwear at the door.

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