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Hawaiian Moon Names

Interactive Moon Calendar

Hawaiian Moon Calendar

Hilo (First night)

The appearance of the setting moon in the western horizon evening sky marks this first night of the month. This new moon appears as a 'slender' or 'twisted' sliver (hilo).

On this night, fish 'hide' in the reef areas, and deep sea fishing is good. Foods maturing underground will 'hide'. Some feel they will be small like the moon they are maturing under.

Hoaka (Second night)

Hoaka literally translated, means crescent. It also means 'spirit or ghost'.

On this second night of the month the ‘uhane (soul of a spirit) cast shadows and frighten fish away.

   

Kū Kahi, Kū Lua, Kū Kolu, Kū Pau (Third to sixth night)

These are the first, second, third and fourth nights of Ku. The Kapu period of Ku ends with the 'First Ku'. Many farmers believe this to be a good time to plant 'uala (sweet potato) and kalo  (taro), as they will grow 'upright' or 'erect'(ku) in the lepo (soil).

This is a good fishing period but ocean currents will soon change.

   

'Ole Kū Kahi, 'Ole Kū Lua, 'Ole Kū Kolu, 'Ole Pau (Seventh to tenth nights)

This is an unproductive time, for ‘ole means 'nothing', 'without', 'unproductive'. The tides are dangerous and high. The sea is rough and fishing is poor.

Some recommend that planting be minimal until ‘ole pau which ends this unproductive period.

Huna (Eleventh night)

It is on this night that the sharp point of the moon's horns are hidden as its name huna implies. Farmers favor root plants which will flourish, hidden under dense foliage like the ipu (bottle gourd) that hides under its leaves.

This is also a good time for fishing, for fish can be found hiding in their holes.

Mōhalu (Twelfth night)

This is a night for flowering plants, whose shape is desired to be as round and perfect as this moon, especially the ipu, maia (banana) and kalo.

Fruits, fish and limu (seaweed) were kapu (forbidden) for this night was sacred to Kane, the lifegiver.

Hua (Thirteenth night)

This is the first night that the circular form of the moon shows. Believed to be the first of the four Hawaiian full moons, this night's moon will appear egg-shaped. Besides meaning egg, hua means: 'fruit' and 'seed' and many believed it to be a bountiful on the ‘aina and kai (land and ocean).

Ipu flourished on the ‘aina and fish were plentiful at sea. This night was sacred to Lono.

Akua (Fourteenth night)

This is the second of four full moons and on this night, the moon is now distinctly round. All things reproduce abundantly (ho'oakua).

Fishing is good on this kapu night, when the akua (gods) are about, and offerings are made to akua to increase food (mea ‘ai) and fish (i‘a).

Hoku (Fifteenth night)

Hawaiians believed this nights moon was the fullest moon of the month. It sometimes set before daylight and was called 'Hoku Palemo' or 'sinking star'. If this moon could be seen above the horizon when daylight came it was called 'Hoku Ili' or 'stranded star'.

'Hoku Kua' means 'lined up close together', hence root plants and bananas will be prolific under this moon.

Māhealani (Sixteenth night)

Mahealani is the second night in which the moon does not set until after sunsrise. It is the last of the four full moons and is also considered the 'calendar' full moon. Mahea means 'hazy, as moonlight' and the plants are prolific and large on this night.

This time is good for all kinds of work. Currents run strong at this time but fishing is good.

Kulu (Seventeenth night)

On this night the moon's rising is delayed until after darkness sets in. Kulu means 'to flow, as tears'. The banana's sheath drops off on this day, not unlike falling tears, exposing its new bunch.

It is a good time for potatoes and melons. This is the time for offering the seasons first fruits to akua. Currents are strong, but it is a good time for fishing.

  

Lā'au Kū Kahi, Lā'au Kū Lua, Lā'au Pau (Eighteenth to twentieth nights)

This is the first, second and last la'au (tree or plant) nights. On La'au Ku Kahi, the moon has waned so much that the sharp points of its horns can once more be seen. Uala, melons and ipu will run to woody (la'au) vines. Ulu (breadfruit) planted on these days will be hard and woody (la'au). For medicines (la'au lapa'au), this is a time favored for gathering herbs and for their preperations by medicinal healers (kahuna lapa'au).

It is a good time for planting mai'a and other trees necessary to support them. It is a favorable time for planting and fishing.

  

'Ole Kū Kahi, 'Ole Kū Lua, 'Ole Pau (Twenty-first to twenty-third nights)

First, second and last ‘Ole nights. This is a time that is not recommended for planting or fishing. It is windy and tides will run high. Farmers use this time for weeding.

‘Ole pau and Kaloa kukahi are the kapu periods of the akua Kanaloa and Kaloa and offering are made with pule (prayer).

  

Kāloa Kū Kahi, Kāloa Kū Lua, Kāloa Pau (Twenty-fourth to twenty-sixth nights)

The three nights of Kaloa are good nights for fishing. Makaloa and ‘ole shellfish are plentiful. It is a good time to plant plants with long stems like the mai‘a, ko (sugar cane), wauke (paper mulberry) and ‘ohe (bamboo) for they will grow long (ka loa). Uala and ‘uhi (yam) will run to long vines (ka loa). Hala (pandanus) will develop long leaves.

The first night of Kaloa is sacred to Kanaloa and mild kapu are enforced.

Kāne (Twenty-seventh night)

This is the night that the moon rises at dawn. This and the following night of Lono are sacred to the akua Kane. It is a period devoted to prayer for health and food to the akua Kane and Lono. The Kane kapu is a strict kapu.

Lono (Twenty-eighth night)

On this night, the moon is only just rising as the dawn breaks. Prayers for rain are common on this day.

Farmers favor melons and ipu for they are kinolau, or the embodiment of Lono.

Mauli (Twenty-ninth night)

When the moon delays its rising until daylight has come, it is called Mauli. Uli means dark and implies rich, dark-green vegetation.

Tides are low on this night and fishing is good. Considered a good day for marriages.

Muku (Thirtieth night)

On this night, the moon rises so late that it can no longer be seen in the light of day. The moon is cut off, or nalowale (vanished). Mai'a will bear bunches one muku long (from the tip of fingers of one hand to opposite elbow). Kumu la'au (trees) and ko will prosper but it is not recommended for uala.

Fishing is good on this night.

 

Na Mahina