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Aloha Kakahiaka: Improve Your Hawaiian Vocabulary

From The
Blog

Updated: May 1, 2024

Uttered from the back of your throat, aloha kakahiaka is a phrase that means good morning in the Hawaiian language.

It is an enchanting way to greet the day. Pronounced, “ah-LOH-hah kah-kah-hee-AH-kah”, use it to bring forward the positive intentions for your day ahead.

Hawaiian Words Are Windows to the Past

If you plan on visiting Hawaii, a good way to honor the heritage of Hawaiians is to learn a few phrases and words. It can also open up meaningful conversations with locals.

Each Hawaiian word is a window into Hawaiiʻs past and a connection to the present.

The Poetic Meaning of Kakahiaka

The literal meaning of kakahiaka is not only poetic but also contains a clue to its use.

Broken into itʻs parts: kakahi (to break) and aka (shade) is translated to mean breaking the shade of night.

It makes sense then that you say aloha kakahiaka between dawn and early afternoon (6-10 a.m.).

Did Ancient Hawaiians Say Aloha Kakahiaka?

Before European contact, the Hawaiian language was primarily oral, transmitted through chants, songs, and stories. When missionaries developed a spelling system to translate texts like the Bible, some English words and patterns, such as fixed schedules, may have influenced the language.

Kakahiaka is believed to be one such word.

There is no evidence that ancient Hawaiians used the term kakahiaka or the phrase. However, we know goodness, compassion, and gratitude is already rooted in the word aloha.

Greet the Day With Aloha Kakahiaka

In a previous article, we delved into the deeper meaning of the word aloha.

Aloha is a way of embracing the world with unconditional love, compassion, and gratitude. To aloha is to acknowledge that you are connected to your ohana (community/family) and the natural world that sustains us. It is recognizing that you belong to something larger than yourself.

Imagine starting every day with a positive outlook and gratitude for the world and everything in it. The rest of your day is bound to be full of goodness.

Learn the Aloha Kakahiaka Song

In classrooms across the islands, children sing aloha kakahiaka in the morning. Learn the lyrics and greet your Ohana at the breakfast table with Hawaiian goodness.

Aloha kakahiaka, aloha ia oe.

Aloha kakahiaka means good morning to you.

Aloha, Aloha.

Aloha kakahiaka means good morning to you.