Lei Day is a Hawaiian holiday traditionally celebrated on the first of May yearly. Lei Day celebrates the beauty of Hawaiian culture with lei-making contests and parades. Here is a look at Hawaiian holidays: May Day is Lei Day!
History of Lei Day
The history of Lei Day goes back to 1928, when the American poet, Don Blanding, came up with an idea. He proposed the concept of a lei celebration to Grace Tower Warren, the editor of the Star-Bulletin. Fortunately for us, Grace loved the idea, suggested it to the public, and coined the phrase “May Day is Lei Day.” And from that day forward, the first of May was an important holiday. Lei day specifically celebrates the beauty of leis, an important part of Hawaiian culture that dates back centuries. Originally used as symbols of respect when greeting people, today, they are often seen as fashion statements or decorations during special occasions such as weddings or graduations. During Lei Day festivities, lei-making contests take place throughout Hawaii, and tourists can enjoy colorful parades featuring elaborate flower designs crafted by local artisans.
The Hawaiian Tradition of Lei
The Hawaiian tradition of lei is deeply rooted in the islands’ culture and has been passed down from generation to generation. Lei are special garlands made with various flowers, leaves, plants, and shells that symbolize love, friendship, and respect. In traditional Hawaiian culture, giving a lei upon meeting someone new or as an offering when visiting sacred places was customary. Today, the lei is still popularly given as a gift during important occasions such as graduations or weddings. The practice of giving lei carries great significance beyond its decorative beauty. They represent an enduring expression of aloha that continues to spread the spirit of love throughout Hawaii’s islands today. Whether you craft a unique design or purchase one from a local shopkeeper, wearing a meaningful lei will make any moment more memorable.
Lei Day Celebrations
Lei Day is a wonderful opportunity for locals and visitors to experience the beauty of Hawaiian culture firsthand. There are various ways to celebrate Lei Day, from attending festivals and parades to participating in lei-making contests or workshops. Regardless of your level of expertise, no one can deny that crafting a lei is therapeutic and rewarding. One great way to get involved in Lei Day festivities is by attending an annual festival or parade. These events often include performances from local hula troupes and traditional Hawaiian music played by live bands. Revelers usually serve traditional foods like poi alongside other snacks such as roasted coconut strips and Hawaiian sweet bread. In addition, there will be plenty of stalls selling handmade items like jewelry, clothing, and artworks made with natural materials found on the islands—perfect souvenirs for taking home.
Now that you’ve had a brief look at the Hawaiian Holiday: Lei Day, you can also celebrate this exciting cultural event this year. As you prepare for the festivities, check out Hawaii Lei Stand’s stunning selection of fresh Hawaiian lei for sale.