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Thanksgiving in Hawaii: The prefect combo of vacation and culture


Picture a table filled with an absolute feast - there's a glistening turkey next to a full gravy boat, a pile of creamy mashed potatoes and a bowl of tangy cranberries. In the other room, you can smell a crisp apple pie nearly done baking in the oven. This - plus more - is the table of most Americans on Thanksgiving Day!

Want to give this classic American holiday a go while you're on vacation this year? There's no better place to get the perfect combination of an amazing vacation and the deliciousness that is Thanksgiving than a family trip to Hawaii!

Before you head over, we think you should have a little bit of information about the history of the holiday - as well as how you can fully enjoy it in Hawaii.

Thanksgiving, a history 

The year was 1621. A small ship named the Mayflower was finally ending its voyage from England to the Americas as it caught sight of land. On board were 102 passengers - aka the Pilgrims - seeking freedom from their homeland. Their trip took about 66 days (but don't worry your flight to Hawaii won't be nearly as long) and they anchored on the east coast of America. Stepping foot on the first rock, they promptly named it the now famous Plymouth Rock and established the small town of Plymouth.

After the first successful corn harvest, the governor of the town, William Bradford, declared that they celebrate with a feast. This celebration lasted three days, though the current observance of the holiday is only one day long. Their table was also much more modest than what spreads look like today, but nonetheless the occasion was a way to give praise for what they had.

While it would be cool to visit Plymouth and Plymouth Rock for your first Thanksgiving, it's actually a much better idea to stick with Hawaii. The east coast is cold come the end of November - and that's no way to celebrate your holiday! Plus, Hawaii has its own, unique way of celebrating which we think you're really going to enjoy. So instead, let's switch gears and head on over to the west coast (and then out a little further into the Pacific) and see how they do it.

Hawaii's take on Thanksgiving 

To begin, native Hawaiians had their civilization established long before the Pilgrims showed up, and they had their own festival of thanks that ran for a whole season, from November to the end of February. During this time there was no fighting amongst tribes and there was, of course, much eating. Foods like pork, fish and vegetables were offered to the warlord who then hosted a huge feast for all the contributors.

Today, the island celebrates the holiday similarly to the rest of the country, but they still have their special additions like plates of fresh sushi. Instead of gathering around a table inside, it's also common for Hawaiians to take their meals outside, whether that be to the backyard, or even out to a local park. If you want to get into the spirit of the holiday, the various islands host a variety of festivals which you can attend - you just need to see what's happening closest to you.

Once you've had a (literal) taste of this great American tradition, you might just find yourself scheduling a trip to Hawaii for this this holiday every year! Go check it out and see for yourself why everyone in America looks forward to this yummy holiday.