Step back into ancient times when early Hawaiians honored Lono – their god of peace, prosperity and fertility – with Makahiki festivities. During this post-harvest period, Hawaiians played games, paid tribute to their chiefs, danced and feasted. No battles were allowed. It was all about giving thanks to Lono.

Turtle Bay Resort – in collaboration with several Hawaiian education programs – hosts an annual Makahiki celebration on the North Shore of Oahu. It’s a day filled with traditional sporting events, such as ulu maika (lawn bowling), uma (arm wrestling), heihei kukini (foot racing) and my favorite, hee holua (Hawaiian sledding). There will also be educational exhibits, cultural demos, hula and tasty foods.

Until this event, it was rare for visitors (and locals) to take part in such traditional Hawaiian activities. It’s not that it wasn’t allowed; there was just never an event for it. I remember celebrating Makahiki during middle school and having a blast! My favorite part was getting a chance to slide down a grassy hill on a Hawaiian sled. One by one, my classmates and I squealed all the way down the hill before leaping to our feet and sprinting to the top, just to do it again. Little did we realize, we, too, were stepping back into time and experience what our ancestors had done for years.

Whether you go for the cultural games, the entertainment or the food, I’d highly recommend checking out this Makahiki Kuilima event. It’s free and something you probably won’t find anywhere else in the world.

MAKAHIKI KUILIMA • Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, 8am-4pm (Free) • Turtle Bay Resort, 57-091Kamehameha Hwy., Kahuku, HI 96731

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