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Everything You Need To Know About Hawaiian Lei

 

Dating back centuries, Hawaiian lei — more often than not, handcrafted with flowers, but sometimes seashells and feathers, too — are customary gifts appropriate for just about every occasion. 

 

A symbol of love, friendship and celebration, here's the 411 on lei. 

When's A Good Time To Give Lei? 

Uh, that's easy — any time is a good time to gift someone with lei. Know someone ringing in a birthday? Or maybe they just receive a promotion? Or are getting married? A lei ticks all those boxes and more. 

Just keep in mind that in local culture, pregnant women are only gifted with untied open lei. (A tied lei is thought to be bad luck and unhealthy for the baby.) 

How Are Lei Worn? 

There's really nothing to it: After receiving a lei, simply place it over your shoulders around your neck and enjoy. (P.S. It's tradition in Hawai‘i for the gifter to do the draping, and they'll usually throw in a hug along with it.)

What If I Can't Wear Lei?

We certainly hope that isn't the case. The opportunity to wear a lei is such a special experience that leaves you feeling just a teensy bit regal. 

But we get it — maybe you have an allergy, or after a period of time, the flower petals tickle your skin just so. No problem. If you simply cannot wear it, let the gift-giver know and use it to decorate your chair instead or let your significant other do the honors and admire it from afar.