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The Hawaiian lei represents the spirit of the Hawaiian islands, and it can stand for many feelings and emotions. The lei can mean anything from honor or love to respect or friendship, and it can even be a gift of welcome. Any lei can be given for any celebratory occasion, different lei colors do have significance in what they represent.

Green Maile Vine Lei: Devotion and Peace

The maile vine has come to represent two main feelings through the centuries: peace and devotion. The latter meaning has made the maile vine lei customary for couples to wear during their wedding ceremonies. The former meaning originally derived from warring Hawaiian chiefs centuries ago. When they desired an end to their conflict, they would meet to come to an agreement. When they made an agreement, they constructed a maile vine lei together, symbolizing their renewed peace.

Ti Leaf Lei: Wishes of Good Luck

The ti leaf originated as the sacred plant of the Hawaiian gods Lono and Laka, but in recent times, the leaf has come to symbolize good luck and health. Because of this, it’s commonly paired with the maile vine during the weaving of a Hawaiian wedding lei. This adds a wish for luck and longevity in the couple’s marriage along with the customary message of congratulations.

Carnations

A lei made from carnations can come in several different colors, each one representing something different. Here are what the different lei colors mean:

  • White carnations stand for luck.
  • Pink ones symbolize friendship.
  • A light red represents admiration.
  • Dark red carnations are signs of love.

Don’t Feel Limited

Each lei may have a customary representation, but don’t let that stop you from gifting any kind of lei to whoever you want. The spirit of any lei, at its very core, is a symbol of congratulations, respect, and welcome.