Lei - Special Hawaiian Flower Garland

Hawaii and flower garlands leis are inseparable concepts. This garland reflects the whole spirit and traditions of Hawaii.

Basically lei are weaved from orchids flowers, picacho, frangipani, ohia lehua and maile, they are weaved from the fresh cut flowers into which feathers, shells, candy, dried flowers and other stuff is woven.

Lay is a special gift that is worn around the neck or hat.

It is worth saying that at present, there are two types of leis: traditional, called Polynesian and modern.

Traditional lei are woven of native Hawaiian plants and flowers that have its symbolic meaning.

And modern leis, they are made of materials and colors that were brought to Hawaii from Europe. In the modern leis even silk, satin, yarn, artificial flowers, ribbons and other materials are used.

On the island of Oahu you can visit the Bishop Museum, which presents a diverse collection of leis. It also presents leis made of shells that have been woven over 100 years ago.

In ancient times, lei were considered to be hallmarks of higher rulers, who might have had their own kind of leis.

Presented to you lei garland can mean friendship, love and kindness, wishes of safe travel, wedding and other events. Lei can be presented to any person, regardless of age.

According to Hawaiian tradition, you can not take your lei off in the presence of a person who has given it to you.

There is also a special holiday in Hawaii that is called Lei Day. It is celebrated on the fist of May and this holiday is full of music, dances and various performances.

Usually the schools on this day have a special contest for the most unusual lei garland.

As for the islands, each of them has its own lei garland:

On Oahu – the ilima lei, which is made up of yellow flowers;

On Maui – lokelani akala lei, made of pinkish flowers;

On Kauai – mokihana lei, lei with purple flowers;

On the Big ISland – lehua lei, made of red flowers;

On Molokai – kukui lei, with green and silver flowers;

On Lanai – kaunaoa lei, this lei is made in orange color;

On Nihua – pupu lei, this lei is made of white shells,

And on Molokini – limu kala lei, lei from blue flowers.

The ritual of presenting leis reflects the beauty, sincerity and kindness of the local people.


М. Petrova