Friday, January 27, 2012

Hawaiian Boat Blessing

QUESTION: How would one do a Hawaiian christening/blessing of a new boat?

ANSWER: No one knows exactly how the ancient Hawaiians blessed their boats, but a typical modern Hawaiian-style blessing could be as follows:

1. Fill a small bowl with fresh water (salt water is used for cleansing).
2. Obtain a long leaf (ti leaf if possible, fern leaf is next best, but any leaf will do).
3. Hang some kind of lei over the gangway or entrance to the boat (flowers or leaves, real or symbolic. In Hawaii maile vine would be used if possible).
4. Announce to all present the purpose of the blessing.
5. Cut or undo the lei (this is like cutting the navel cord).
6. Dip the leaf in the bowl and sprinkle all areas of the boat while giving some sort of blessing ("May this boat be blessed with love, power, and success" (in Hawaiian: E ho'omaika'i i keia wa'a me ke aloha, me ka mana, me ka pono).
7. Have everyone present hold hands on or near the boat and give a personal blessing for the boat and the owners/operators.
8. End the blessing with a song, a chant, or a simple "Thank you" and a hug.
9. Finish with a luau, a "pupu" (snack) party, or some kind of refreshments.


  1. Aloha, very nice description, mahalo nui Master Serge.
    In my country we have simplified procedure and when a big ship than they bless her with a bottle of champagne, the rest like you say: singing, snack and farewell.

  2. Hello I am from England . My name is Keith and I own a Boat called The Big Bopper can anyone do a Hawaiian blessing for me Please. I wish for my boat to have safe passage on the seas and good fortune with the sea. I would also like to be blessed as a man of the sea. Thank you