by Leilehua Yuen
You’ve heard of Dasher and Dancer, Prancer and Vixen
Comet and Cupid, Donner and Blitzen
You’ve heard of the Babe in the Manger, born so long ago
And Santa, who lives in the North, in the snow
But how many know of our holiday, here
When Makaliʻi, the Pleiades, shines bright and clear?
“Three months,” said our ancients, “Three months of peace,
While Makaliʻi rises high in the east”
A time of no toil, no trouble, no fear
That’s Makahiki, the Hawaiian New Year
Holiday time, oh Holiday time, Holiday time is here
Put aside your worries, put aside your fears
Dig the imu deep and wide for the biggest hog
Find an old kiawe tree for the biggest log
Put aside all anger, discontent and tears
Seek out joy and happiness at this time of year
In the land of aloha plant the seeds of peace
Faith and hope and charity to harvest for the feast
Hau`oli Makahiki Hou! Sing it loud and clear!
Makali`i shines a light by which we can steer
Chart a course for happiness all the whole year through
And when those stars roll ‘round again the world will sing with you!
Back around 2003, Aunty Nona Beamer asked me to write a Makahiki carol. “Dahling, she said, “we have LOTS of Christmas carols, but there is not a single Makahiki carol. The want me to present one at the theatah in Volcano, but I’ll be on tour with Keola. So I told them you would do it.”
So, I wrote one, presented it, and have been performing it each year ever since!