Chiefs Luau – It All Started with a Coconut
The previous blog post was titled “10 Reasons to go to Chief’s Luau.” Reason #3 is the ‘Ava ceremony and the audience participation at Chiefs Luau. I wanted to elaborate on this special part of Chief’s Luau at Sea Life Park.
It all started with a coconut. It seemed innocent enough. Chief Sielu cracked open a coconut and chose someone to come on stage and drink some of it. I was honored that he chose me and I joined Chief Sielu on stage.
After a few sips from the coconut and some fun banter I was presented with a beautiful headband and thought I was headed back to my seat to enjoy the rest of the show.
Well not so fast – I won’t give away everything but I will just say there were a lot of warrior cheeks and mention of “honi honi.”
After Samoan song and dance it was time for the ‘Ava Ceremony. The ‘Ava Ceremony is one of the most important customs of Samoa. One of the occasions for the ‘Ava Ceremony is to bestow chiefly titles.
My dad was chosen for the ‘ava ceremony. When the ‘ava cup was presented to him he was told to spill a few drops and speak a few words. He then raised the cup and said “la manuia” which means be happy or prosperous. The reply was “Soifua” which means may you live.
The new Chief!
The fun didn’t end with the ‘Ava Ceremony. After dinner the new Chiefs were invited on stage to learn some warrior moves. My daughter informed everyone later that her grandfather “was the star of the show.”
My parents were invited to the stage when Chief Sielu honored newlyweds and those celebrating anniversaries. My dad told the Chief his secret to a successful marriage.
After honoring honeymoons and anniversaries the couples received a flower and danced on stage to The Hawaiian Wedding Song.
If you were not celebrating an anniversary you still have an opportunity to join the Chief on stage! Everyone was invited to join him for some hula dancing!
The kids had their chance to shine on stage too!
Last but not least even though my kids never went on stage the show came to them as the beautiful Chiefs Luau dancers came into the crowd for the last song.
Chiefs Luau gives everyone a chance to be part of the show. Chief’s Luau is more than a show. It is a celebration. Chief Sielu reminded us to celebrate each and every day because you never know what tomorrow will bring. Those words are so true. In June 2013 my dad was in the hospital having open heart surgery. In June 2014 he was becoming a Chief at Chief’s Luau. Thank you to Chief’s Luau for reminding us to celebrate life and to love, care and share.
Be sure to check out my previous blog post – 10 Reasons to Go To Chief’s Luau.
Did you or a family/friend join the Chief on stage at Chief’s Luau?