May Day is Lei Day

…in Hawaii Nei!

Photo courtesy of GoVisitHawaii’s Flickr

The 1st of May (or “May Day”) is also known as “Lei Day” in Hawaii, a local holiday established in 1929 dedicated to the Hawaiian tradition of making lei, wearing lei, and the Aloha spirit. No matter what day of the week May 1st falls on, Lei Day is always celebrated on May 1st.

The importance of the lei is that it is meant to represent an expression of aloha. The meaning of Aloha carries many interpretations depending on the occasion, including (but not limited to): greeting, love, farewell, and joy. The overall idea of lei-giving is that although the lei itself may only last a short while (assuming it’s made of fresh floral materials), the thought and spirit behind such a gift lasts forever.

While there are Lei Day celebrations happening on all of the islands, the island of O’ahu hosts the state’s largest May Day event, usually held at Queen Kapi’olani Park in Waikiki. Open and free to the public, festival-goers can enjoy live music and hula performances, take in a lei contest exhibit, and much more.

Lei Day is a great opportunity to practice those lei-making skills and gift a beautiful lei to someone who needs a little extra aloha in their life. Who do you know that would love to receive a lei?