When you go on a vacation to Hawaii, you’ll likely want to get a taste of the culture at a luau. This traditional feast includes plenty of enlightening activities, such as a kava ceremony. If you’re new to this ritual, learn more about what to expect below.

Your Guide to the Kava Ceremony

What is it?

The kava ceremony is an ancient ritual that centers around the kava plant, also known as ‘awa. Hawaiians usually perform this ceremony at the beginning of a luau. Participants will sit in a circle on the floor and observe as the preparer makes the kava drink. All guests will consume it before enjoying a feast. 

How do they prepare the beverage?

kava ceremonyAfter issuing a welcome statement, the preparer will break a kava root into a large, ceremonial bowl and mix it with cold water. It is customary for the preparer to chew the root to ferment the concoction with saliva. They will then stir the liquid with hibiscus bark until the root particles dissolve before filtering it with a fiber bundle and serving it to guests in halved coconuts. 

Does it have any side effects?

The kava beverage tends to increase feelings of happiness and relaxation. Many people consume it as a healthier substitute for alcohol, and several bars across the United States have begun to serve it as an alternative. 

What is the significance of the ceremony?

Throughout the Pacific islands, the kava drink is thought to represent the past and future, with the ceremony acting as a bridge to bring them together. This beverage also promotes friendship and community and commemorates life milestones and achievements.


When you’re ready to experience the fascinating tradition of the kava ceremony, get in touch with Toa Luau. They provide luau packages that include flower lei, Hawaiian food, Polynesian dancers, and cultural activities to visitors of the Haleiwa, HI, area. Call (877) 778-8505 to book a silver, gold, or VIP package, and visit the website to learn more about what to expect from their Hawaiian luau.