The first day of May is Lei Day in Hawaii

A Royal Court presentation at a Lei Day celebration

A lei is a beautiful symbol of the Hawaiian culture. It ties together the spirit of Aloha and the the aina (earth) that produces the flowers and leaves used to create a lei.

The first of May is Lei Day in Hawaii. It’s a day designated to celebration the lei and what it means to the Hawaiian culture.

We were fortunate to observe the annual Lei Day celebration at Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club on Kauai several years ago. Along with displays of gorgeous lei creations, we also got to watch a royal court procession, hula and other cultural presentations.

Almost every Lei Day celebration includes a competition. Local residents submit their beautiful lei creations into the competitions. From what we saw, who ever had to judge these gorgeous lei must have had a difficult time as they were all so beautiful and fragrant, too!

At the Lei Day event, we learned about the lei and how it symbolizes the connection of the giver and the receiver and to the aina (earth) as well. The symbolism is really quite beautiful.

Kapuna Janet Kahalekomo
Kupuna Janet Kahalekomo was honored with several lei.

If you visit Hawaii during Lei Day, check local papers for island events. Though Lei Day is May 1st, it may be celebrated on another day — particularly if May 1st falls on a weekday, some of the big celebrations may occur on the weekend before and after May 1st.

Here’s our video from last year’s Lei Day.

Also, please enjoy this colorful Lei Day collection of photos from this Lei Day experience.

3 comments
  1. what a beautiful, unique and interesting experience that looks like! thanks for sharing!

    1. It was really interesting.

      I wish we had smell-a-blog capabilities so that you could have enjoyed the floral lei scents. 🙂

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