A graduation is a significant achievement, one that shouldn’t go by without a little pomp and circumstance. One of the best ways to celebrate the day and inject more meaning and beauty into the day is to adorn yourself with a Hawaiian lei. This flower necklace holds deep and long-standing symbolism on the Hawaiian Islands, and knowing some tips to picking the right graduation lei for you will make the day even more special.
Pick the Right Color
Every school has a specific color scheme, which is something you need to consider when ordering your lei. One of the most popular leis, the orchid, comes in a variety of colors and can serve as a great way to accent the look of your regalia. You can incorporate a design that both showcases your school colors and makes your gown stand out from the rest.
Consider the Meaning of Different Leis
Every lei possesses a special meaning in Hawaiian culture, whether it’s friendship, love, or respect. The kukui nut lei in particular has a specific meaning for education and graduation. The origins of the kukui nut date back centuries; these nuts were the main sources of oil for lamps. Later, the symbolism of light came to stand for education, enlightenment, and learning. Because of this, many graduates adorn themselves with kukui nut leis to acknowledge their academic achievements.
Know Your School’s Policy
One of the most important steps to choosing a graduation lei for you—and something that will inform how you decide to decorate your lei—is your school’s dress code policy. Ask the graduation coordination team about any expectations and the dress code for the day; not every school prohibits extra decoration, but it’s common enough that you’ll want to check beforehand. You don’t want all your planning to go to waste because your school won’t allow you to wear the lei in the first place. Double-check before the big day to avoid any complications or last-minute disappointments.
Storage for the Big Day
Purchasing a fresh graduation lei is not something you can do the day of—you’ll need to order your lei beforehand and keep it safe until the time comes. The best way to preserve a lei is to store it in your refrigerator inside a plastic bag. The cold environment will prevent the flowers from wilting, and the plastic insulates the lei, keeping it safe for a long period of time. Avoid putting your lei on dry ice, as that can harm the flowers and ruin them before the ceremony.