Because before the arrival of Captain Cook in 1778 Hawaiians knew nothing about Christianity (or any other world religion), they did not celebrate Christmas. At the turn of the century, Hawaiian Christmas and New Year holidays became a mix of traditions introduced by eighteenth-century explorers and missionaries from Europe and the US in combination with ancient Hawaiian winter solstice festivities. After the missionaries' introduction, the Hawaiians tried to say "Merry Christmas," but it just didn't sound like it sounded in English. So "Mele Kalikimaka," a phonetic translation of the phrase, was the best choice. Traditional Hawaiians watched Makahiki, a celebration during the winter solstice that lasted up to four months. They used this period to recognize their gods for food taken from land and sea. The most important god of this festival was Lono, who represented fertility and growth.
During the festival, his image in the form of tics was transferred to the islands and shown to everyone. Makahiki was also a time of peace because warriors of rival clans were not allowed to go out to sea in kayaks during this festival. This ensured that time could be spent on peaceful festivities and feasts with pigs and fish. The festival also indicated the beginning of the new year, when Hawaiians say "Hauoli Makahiki Hou" – roughly "happy new year". Because makahiki also means "year," the Hawaiian phrase "happy new year" was "Hau & # 39; oli (happy) Makahiki (year) Hou (new)" (how-OH-lee mah-kah-hee-kee ho). SO, Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau & # 39; oli Makahiki Hou means "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year."
Here's a good article about Hawaiian Christmas and New Year traditions. As indicated in the article "In 1856, King Kamehameha IV moved the official national day of Thanksgiving to December 25, more than coincidentally coinciding with Christmas. The great Christmas party took place in the royal area in 1858, in which it is believed to be the first Christmas tree on the islands. " Hawaii has a very comfortable climate with cool breezes and warm sun throughout the year. A relaxed and stress-free culture is conducive to experiencing the spirit of Aloha during New Year celebrations and the festival.