EASTER IN MAUI
Sunrises are spectacular in Maui. Easter is a great excuse to get up for sunrise, and you’ve just arrived in Maui you will probably be up anyway because of the time change. Most people are affected by the time change the first few days after arriving on the island and find themselves up early. Many people do get up and venture to Haleakala Crater for sunrise but being on the beach at this time of day can make for magical experience too!
I highly recommend that you get out and enjoy a Maui sunrise while you’re here!
Springtime In Ancient Hawaii
When Hawaii was discovered in 1778 by Captain Cook, he observed that the Hawaiians had an amazing amount of skill in agriculture and fishing. Ancient Hawaiians had a connection to the land and sea that was a part of their religious rituals and taboos. Springtime for ancient Hawaiians was a time of growth and maturity of crops planted in the wet winter months. Today these traditions and knowledge are still in use today out along the road to Hana. If you wish to learn more about Maui’s ancient past check out a road to Hana tour!
Hawaiian Month Names
Surprisingly each island used different names for the months and season. Here is the term used by ancient Hawaiians for spring in Maui:
Kaelo (Mar.-April)–Leo in the eastern evening sky. All things grow, crops maturing. ‘Ama’ama and malolo fishing. Deep sea fishing through summer. ‘Ilio-holo-i-ka-uaua (monk seal) pups are born.
Easter at Maui’s Historic Churches
Maui has an amazing array of churches many of which are of historical registry and significance. They can be found island wide. These churches were at the forefront of the Hawaiian cultures evolution from a caste based society to a christian based community. Maui’s unique history can be told through the stories of the island historic churches. Here is a listing of churches that have Easter services as well as deep historic roots dating back over 100 years!
Keawala’i Church in Makena – 5300 Makena Rd, Kihei, HI 96753
One of Maui’s most beautiful oceanside churches Keawala’i Church is well known as a great church for weddings. Located next door to Makena Beach Resort, their Easter Sunrise Service starts a 7:30 am Sunday morning. All are welcome!
Waiola Church Lahaina 535 Waine’e St Lahaina
This is where Christianity began for the island of Maui. The church held its first worship service on the beach fronting Lahaina in 1823. Queen Keopuolani, said to be the highest ranking Ali’i (Royalty) in the kingdom at the time (higher even than her husband Kamehameha the Great) became impressed with the Missionaries message. From Oahu, she traveled with missionaries to deliver the “good word” to the people of Maui in may of 1823. She fell ill shortly after that and died in September of that year. She and other Ali’i are buried in the Royal Tomb, located in the church cemetery.
Holy Ghost Church – Old Kula Highway
This Roman Catholic church sits on the slopes of Haleakala in Kula. Said to have been serving the Portuguese Catholic community since 1875, Holy Ghost Church has a unique to Hawaii octagonal designed that was completed in 1895. In 1983 the church was placed on the Hawaii Register of Historic Places.
As well as Easter Sunrise services the church is well known for it’s annual free Holy Ghost Feast. Local Portuguese have been celebrating this feast since arriving in the 1880s to work in the sugarcane industry and has been held ever since in early June.
Kaahumanu Church – Wailuku 103 S High St
Another church that was established by Maui’s first missionaries, Ka’ahumanu Church was established in 1832. The New England style church was built on the property of the Royal Compound of Maui’s last independent King, Kahekili. Attended by Queen Ka’ahumanu (Kamehameha’s most favored wife who was born in Hana) she requested a sanctuary be built in her name. Her request was completed by Edward Bailey in 1876 with the building of the present day sanctuary building.
Church services here are a blend of Hawaiian and English with mele (music) and pule (prayer)
Makawao Union Church – 1445 Baldwin Ave, Makawao, HI 96768
This beautiful stone church was founded in 1861, and it’s original New England style wood frame structure was dedicated in 1889. The wood frame church was razed in 1916 and the new building, designed architect Charles William Dickey, was erected using reinforced concrete with a natural basalt lava rock veneer. The roof was covered in Vermont slate, and the stained glass windows were reused from the old building. The adjacent Paia Community House was built in 1914, and it’s large auditorium and stage was used for operettas, plays, concerts, silent movies, and dances.
Easter morning at Makawao Union Church starts with a congregational breakfast followed by a worship service and annual Easter egg Hunt for the Keiki (children). All are welcome to be part of the festivities on Easter day.
Easter Brunches In Maui
Almost every major hotel and resort in Maui has a Sunday Brunch. There are a few though that are over the top wonderful! They all have an amazing assortment of traditional and Hawaiian dishes and prices range from around $35 to upwards of $95 depending on the location a variety of items.
Here is a list of brunches that are popular with locals and visitors alike…
Grand Wailea – 3850 Wailea Alanui Dr. Wailea, HI 96753 Phone: (800) 888-6100
Maui has some of the most luxurious resorts in the world and the Grand Wailea is certainly in the top 3. Aside from the expansive brunch the property boasts a beautiful chapel and lawn were an Easter Egg hunt, egg decorating and carnival games will keep the kids happy for hours!
Cafe O’Lei at the Dunes – 1333 Maui Lani Pkwy, Kahului, HI 96732 call 808-877-0073 for reservations
This beautiful golf course and clubhouse overlooks the West Maui Mountains and is becoming known for their holiday brunches. Located just outside of Kahului this property has easy access and parking. Cafe O’Lei has laid out a terrific Brunch with carving stations that include prime rib, stuffed leg of lamb and a delicious omelet station. Add entrees like blackened mahi-mahi, jumbo shrimp linguine, and Chicken Provence, and you’ll be happy you only paid $32 for this amazing spread!
Maui Ocean Center – 192 Maalaea Rd, Wailuku, HI 96793 808-270-7068
The Maui Ocean Center’s Seascape Ma’alaea Restaurant is an award-winning dining experience overlooking Ma’alaea Harbor. This restaurant is attached to the Aquarium, but a separate entrance means admission to the Aquarium is not required. However, the kids would certainly enjoy this aquarium after enjoying a delicious brunch! Adults $45.95 Children ages 3-12 $26.00
Kaanapali Beach Hotel 2525 Kaanapali Pkwy, Lahaina, HI 96761(808) 661-0011
KBH is one of Maui’s most Hawaiian hotels with great shows and the beautiful Kaanapali Beach right out front. This Champagne Brunch is a favorite with both visitors and locals. Many Hawaiian specialties along with traditional fair let everyone indulge while listening to live Hawaiian entertainment.
Ritz Carlton 1 Ritz Carlton Dr, Kapalua, HI 96761 (808) 669-6200
If you’re looking for top of the line luxury brunch than the Ritz-Carlton in Kapalua is an excellent choice. Locally sourced with many items from the Ritz’s organic garden is sure to please. The property is expansive, and you will enjoy overlooking the lush grounds as you dine on traditional and Hawaiian themed brunch selections. $96 per person adult, $48 per child.
Pacific Whale Foundation 612 Front St, Lahaina, HI 96761 (800) 942-5311
For a relaxing Easter Brunch consider taking an ocean cruise! Pacific Whale Foundation’s Easter Brunch Cruise departs from Lahaina Harbor for a 2-hour cruise with live music and a good chance of sighting whales and dolphins! This beautiful power catamaran is a wonderful way to enjoy this holiday Maui style! Adults $81.95 children ages 3-12 $51.95
Easter Egg Hunting
Many of the churches and resorts also have Easter Egg hunting as part of the festivities. Many happen on the resort or church grounds and are enjoyed by the Keiki (children) of locals and visitors alike. Almost all the resorts listed above have Easter Egg Hunts.
So there you have it! Maui is such an amazing island, and if you travel here at any time of the year, you’re bound to land on or near a holiday. Check out our blog posts for other holidays and happening in Maui throughout the year!
Aloha Nui Loa