Lei Day in Hawaii- May 1st

What do you think of when you hear the word Hawaii? What is the first thing you imagine?
The Lei, Hawaii necklace, is the symbol of the tropical islands, especially of the Hawaiian Islands. Most people, the first thing they think of when they are told the word Hawaii, is the colorful garland of flowers that characterizes the islands.
The lei is a traditional gift for any visitor to the island. It is a cultural symbol in Hawaii, representing the deity: affection, love, peace, compassion and mercy.
Lei Day is a holiday throughout the state of Hawaii. The celebration begins on the first morning of May each year and continues throughout the day and even a little the next day. The day was founded as a holiday in 1929 and continues to this day. Each island in Hawaii has a different type of necklace used for celebration.
The festivities grew steadily each year, and the state of Hawaii was forced to relocate the event. The festivities were first held in the courts and town halls, but have since been moved to Kapiolani park in Honolulu, where they take place to this day. Learn more about Kapiolani Park.
The Hawaiian Lei has a very rich and colorful history. Each island in Hawaii has a special flower that specifically represents it. The main island of Hawaii, better known as the "Big Island," has the beautiful red blossom of the ʻōhiʻa lehua, Metrosideros polymorpha.
The flower of Maui Island is the a pink lokelani (Rosa damascena). The flower of Oahu Island is ʻilima (Sida fallax). The color of the Ilima is golden and can be seen all over the island. The island of Molokai uses a flower called Kukui (Aleurites moluccanus) which is green in color. On a smaller island called Lānaʻi, there is the orange, kaunaʻoa (Cuscuta sandwichiana). Kahoʻolawe island has the gray or silver flower, hinahina (Heliotropium anomalum var. argentum). Niʻihau island has a white, pūpū o Niʻihau (Niʻihau shells) and Kauaʻi has purple, mokihana (Melicope anisata).
In celebrations of this day are expressed all the musical traditions and dance styles of all the Hawaiian Islands, which together create a colorful and spectacular show, full of colors and joy.
There are fears that the merging of cultures across the islands will result in the loss of Hawaii's cultural identity over the generations, and that Hawaii's ethnic values will also disappear. Lei Day is designed to remind and emphasize to celebrants the values and cultures that represent the state.
How to Celebrate Lei Day?
The Lei represents joy, hope, love and compassion. If you are in Hawaii, join the colorful festivities. If you are far away, take the time to explore the symbolism of the necklace and share with others. Accept the Spirit of God and fill yourself with all the good things it represents.

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