The phrase Hilo ‘ia a paa is a play on Hilo, the name of the crescent moon and the first night of a new malama (Hawaiian month). This is a time of great potential and new beginnings, as the energy of the mahina (moon/month) increases from Hilo till Māhealani. Hilo also means to twist or braid. As you begin the practice of recording observations for each lunar phase, you will start braiding a cord of knowledge about your ‘āina that will eventually become pa’ana’au, or fixed within your consciousness.  For our ancestors, the moon guided planting, fishing, and many aspects of traditional life. How can it help to guide our contemporary lifestyles?

In collaboration with the Moon Phase Project, Kealopiko has designed beautiful moon phase journals (available at http://www.kealopiko.com) to encourage the practice of recording observations. In conjunction, we hope that this site will be a useful way to learn from others and share your own discoveries. If you see a photo that interests you, think about whether you have similar or different experiences in your area, and share your thoughts in the comment section.

Share your own photos by tagging @moonphaseproject and #hiloiaapaa on Instagram. Select photos will be featured on this site and the Moon Phase Project Instagram account. You can also send observations (photo, moon phase, location, short description) to moonphaseproject@gmail.com.

A note about diacriticals: We are just learning how to use the formatting and coding in this online platform, so we are omitting okina and kahako in most of the posts until we can find a consistent way to display them correctly (when we post from our phones too!) If you have experience with this and you have suggestions, please contact us!


  1. Ockie Simmonds

    Kia ora tatou, This website is an inspiration to Maori like me here in Aotearoa-New Zealand. The Hawai’ian lunar calendar is very similar to our tribe lunar calendar here – except for dialectal differences. That is certainly an achievement because we sailed away over 1,000 years ago. Please keep up this marvellous work. We certainly need to work collaboratively at some stage in the near future. We’ll like to duplicate your system here with your permission naturally. Ockie Simmonds – Society of Maori Astronomy, Research & Traditions, Aotearoa – New Zealand.

  2. Kia ora ano, ae, we must keep this up. Check our our website – http://www.maoriastronomy.co.nz/ The Society of Maori Astronomy, Research & Traditions (SMART) group here is trying to promote the Maori lunar calendar here like you. However, you are further ahead. We had a visit by Kalei Nu’uhiva at a conference in Auckland NZ 14/15 March. Her attendance was very much appreciated. She gave copies of your moon phase journal and 2014 Moon calendar. This work is really inspirational for us here. The calendar records identical activities. However, you have greater micro-detail – or detail about plant/animal identification for a specific lunar day. I would appreciate help to decipher types of plant specie types referred to in your calendar for a particular day. Can you help me identify if the activity there occurs here on the same lunar day? Ockie Simmonds – Raukawa, SMART (Society of Maori Astronomy, Research & Traditions, Aotearoa – New Zealand).

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