Aloha Authentic: How to say months of year in Hawaiian language

Aloha Authentic

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Names are very important in the islands — they tell a story of Hawaii’s history and culture. KHON2’s weekly “Aloha Authentic” segment highlights various streets across the pae aina so the meaning of their names can be uncovered. This month is Hawaiian Language month and it is time to learn the Hawaiian words for the months of the year.

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In the ahupuaa of Palolo, which lies in the moku of Kona on Oahu, stands a street that brings attention to the calendar.  

That street is Mahina Street.

The word Mahina in Hawaiian language can mean “moon” or “moonlight” in English, but it also translates to “month.”  

The stars and the moon played a vital role in life in old Hawaii — they determined the lunar months throughout the year and the days that fell within them.  

New vocabulary was created for every month of the Gregorian calendar after western contact, however.  

There is Kekemapa (December), Ianuali (January) and Pepeluali (February) in the winter months and Malaki (March), Apelila (April) and Mei (May) during the spring.

The warmer summer months of the year include Iune (June), Iulai (July) and Aukake (August) and during the fall there is Kepakemapa (September), Okakopa (October), and Nowemapa, which is the Hawaiianization of November.

Did you know?  Now you do!

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