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How To Say ‘Happy Birthday’ In Hawaiian

Want to know how to say ‘happy birthday’ in Hawaiian? You’re in the right place. 

It’s always nice to wish someone a happy birthday on their special day but why not do it in a language that means something to them.

As well as wishing your loved one a happy birthday in Hawaiian, why not also sing the Hawaiian version of the happy birthday song! Read on to learn more about this.

How To Say ‘Happy Birthday’ In Hawaiian

To wish someone a happy birthday in Hawaiian, you can say:

Happy birthdayHauʻoli Lā Hānau

This phrase literally translates to ‘happy day of birth’ and is the most common way to wish someone a happy birthday in Hawaii. 

It’s pronounced like – how-oh-lee la hah-now

Pronunciation note:

The apostrophe is known as an ‘okina which represents a glottal stop. This is a break in a word, as an example, in English we have the word ‘uh-oh’.

You’ll also notice a straight line above some of the letters e.g. ā. This is known as a kahakō and it indicates a long vowel sound. 

Alternatively, you can also use some of these phrases:

Happy day full yearHauʻoli Lā Piha Makahiki
CongratulationsHo’omaika’i ‘ana
All my loveAloha Nui Loa

The phrase ‘happy day full year’ is often used in Hawaiian on someone’s birthday. It’s basically like congratulating someone on completing another full year of life.

How To Sing Happy Birthday In Hawaiian

If you want to go the extra mile for your loved one or friend, try singing the happy birthday song in Hawaiian. You’ll be happy to know it’s the same tune as the English version, they just sing it in Hawaiian.

Check out the video below to hear the Hawaiian birthday song. The speaker also teaches you how to pronounce the phrase ‘Hauʻoli Lā Hānau’ in Hawaiian:

Here’s the lyrics so you can sing along:

“Hau’oli la hanau ia ‘oe,
Hau’oli la hanau ia ‘oe,
Hau’oli la hanau ia *name*,
Hau’oli la hanau ia ‘oe”

This translates to:

“Happy birthday to you!
Happy birthday to you!
Happy birthday to *name*
Happy birthday to you!”

Hawaiian Birthday Traditions

Birthday traditions can be very important to many people on their birthdays. To make your loved one feel extra special you can also try some of these Hawaiian birthday traditions.

Lei

Traditionally, the birthday person will always wear a lei on their birthday. A lei is a flower garland worn around your neck. It doesn’t matter how old you are, you should always wear a lei on your birthday. A lei is also a common birthday gift so if it’s your birthday, expect to receive one!

Lu’au

If it’s a child’s first birthday then you should celebrate it with a lu’au. A lu’au is a traditional Hawaiian party that often features traditional Hawaiian food, music and entertainment.

This tradition began a long time ago when infant mortality was high, back then if a child reached their first birthday, it was a huge accomplishment so they would celebrate with a lu’au. This tradition still stands today even though infant mortality isn’t high anymore.

These are big events in Hawaii and parents will often spend months planning them and inviting everyone they know (they often have over 100 guests!).

Traditional Greetings

If you’ve been invited to a Hawaiian birthday party then you should know that it’s customary to greet people with a kiss on the cheek, even if it’s the first time that you’ve met someone.

It’s also polite to take off your shoes before entering someone’s home so make sure you do this and leave your shoes outside.


Thanks for reading this post on how to say ‘happy birthday’ in Hawaiian. 

It’s a great idea to make the effort to learn how to say this in someone’s native language or a language that means something to them.

Your loved one or friend will be so impressed!

Mother’s Day or Father’s Day coming up? Learn how to wish your parents a happy mother’s day or happy father’s day in Hawaiian.

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