How to say Happy Birthday in Hawaiian

Ever since I wrote to my friend’s happy birthday in Hawaiian, our relationship has changed. He has been living in the US for almost nine years now. And apparently, he misses his home in Hawaii. And when he got a birthday card from me with “Hau‘oli lā hānau.” He has immediately called me, and he was so happy, I have never heard him so excited.

So if you have any Hawaiian friends, definitely greet them in Hawaiian.

Learn how to say happy birthday in Hawaiian, the correct Hawaiian phrase is under the image in the article.

So how to say correctly happy b-day in Hawaiian

Hau‘oli lā hānau” this is the correct way to great someone in Hawaii for their birthday.

Hau‘oli lā hānau is Hawaiian sentence, which can be translated as a happy birthday wish.

How to sing a happy birthday in Hawaiian

If you don’t want to half-ass it, you should sing it to that person to celebrate his special day. I bet he will be even more surprised and amazed, how much you care!

The words of the song

  • Hau‘oli la hanau ia oe
  • Hau‘oli la hanau ia oe
  • Hau‘oli la hanau ia oe “HIS or HERS NAME.”
  • Hau‘oli la hanau ia oe

If you wonder what the proper pronunciation of this is, I would say it like this: “how-oh-lay la ha-now.

Other Hawaiian birthday traditions

When they are celebrating child’s first-ever birthday, they are partying like there is no tomorrow. This is probably the biggest birthday celebration in Hawaii culture as far as birthday goes. Because, it is not that long time ago when infants died at a very high percentage, their mortality was off the charts in comparison to this day and age. This tradition is ancient because hundreds of years ago, if the child survived the first year of its life, it was a huge accomplishment and quite lucky. It was for Hawaiian’s cause for a huge celebration. And this tradition is still being done today and probably will stay for many years to come.

Why you should do this

This is not only for friends, but this happened in business also. Do you know how much good business relationship has been made, just because I had greeted them in their native language when they had a birthday? I can’t even count. All of them were surprised, and I have to say pleasantly surprised.

Birthdays are globally the perfect day to get away with things that we love, and we can’t do them all the time. B-day is the rare day in a year, so why not make it a more pleasant experience for everyone. Don’t take this for granted; we have only limited time on this planet, don’t forget that!

How do you say congratulations in Hawaiian?

The correct way to say congratulations in Hawaiian is “Ho’omaika’i ‘ana.”

Since we are already on this topic, I thought I would share with you a few more common words in Hawaiian

Most Common Hawaiian Words


This is probably the most common Hawaiian word; it is mostly used for greeting or farewell. Aloha means hello & goodbye. But this is not the only meaning of the word Aloha; it also means love and good feelings.


Mahalo is probably the second most common Hawaiin word, which means thank you. But this is the short version of thank you. They usually use Mahalo Nui loa, which is a more polite version, which Hawaiian often use between each other, and in translation, it means thank you very much.


I am not sure if this in the top 5 or even top 10 most used Hawaiian words, but Ono is quite an important word when you travel over there. It means delicious. If you ever see during your visiting some local restaurant that advertises their food as ono, definitely visit.


There is no single word in English that could describe what pono means. But it is a combination of words: righteousness, excellence, positivity, balance, and harmony.


This is a very important word for Hawaiians, Ohana can be translated as a family, but it can also be a description of someone who is close friends of yours or community in which you participate and is super close to you (like your football team, etc.).

My last thoughts

Today we have learned how to say happy birthday in Hawaiian and a few of their most important and most used words. If you have enjoyed this article, let me know in the comment section below this article, and I will publish more articles like this one.

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