An Overview of Funeral Traditions in Hawaii

A funeral serves as a final goodbye, allowing friends and family members to express their feelings and celebrate the life of their lost loved one. If you are starting the funeral pre-planning process, you might want to learn about traditional funeral services in Hawaiian culture. 

Byodo-In Temple, O'aho, Hawaii

Funeral Traditions From the Past

Hawaiian culture is filled with many traditional influences as well as a number of modern ones. Today’s funerals may feature more modern customs, but funerals in the past followed a few traditional rituals to honor the deceased and help loved ones say goodbye. Cave burials were once very popular among the Hawaiian people. The deceased person would either be arranged to lie flat in the cave or have his or her knees pushed up to his or her chest and tied into place to maintain the fetal position. Some ancient Hawaiians also performed burials at sea, placing the body on a cloth and sending it into the ocean.

Current Funeral Traditions

Many different cultures have influenced and currently influence Hawaiian customs. That is why there are many more burial options chosen by Hawaiian people as a way to say goodbye to their lost loved ones. Modern funeral services typically take place at churches, memorial parks, cemeteries, or even private homes. A religious or otherwise respected figure conducts a service honoring the deceased before the casket is buried in the ground. Unlike traditional American funerals where guests wear black, Hawaiian funerals typically feature guests wearing bright colors.

Making the Right Choice

Only you can decide on the right funeral option for your loved one. You can meet with a memorial park representative to get more information about funeral pre-planning options and services you can add to honor your friend or family member.

Valley of the Temples Memorial Park of Oahu can help you plan a beautiful funeral ceremony to celebrate your friend or family member. Contact us at (808) 239-8811 to start the funeral pre-planning process, and visit our website to learn more about our memorial park. 

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