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May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii

  |  Big Island: History and Culture

Lei from Grace Flowers Hawaii

Lei from Grace Flowers Hawaii in Honokaa

On the Big Island of Hawaii today the air is sweet with fragrances of the many flowers that have been being picked and strung for lei in celebration of May Day, Hawaii style. When given a lei in Hawaii it is a symbol of affection. Thus, May Day in Hawaii is a day filled with the spirit of Aloha as family and friends alike bestow their beautiful fresh flower lei upon one another.

Many businesses, hotels and visitor attractions offer lovely displays of the various types of lei found throughout the Big Island of Hawaii. From today through May 16, the Lyman Museum in Hilo is hosting demonstrations of feather lei making from some of Hawaii’s most talented feather lei artists and a fascinating exhibit of featherwork including the lei papa (flat lei often used as hatbands), kāhili, `uli`uli (feathered gourds and rattles), `ahu `ula (feathered capes), and an elaborate crested mahiole (helmet). Visit the Lyman Museum website for details about the exhibit.

At the Volcano Art Center, Lei Day will be celebrated on the Gallery porch with Hawaiian music, impromptu hula and lei making. This program runs from 10 am to 1pm. What better place to enjoy the energy of Lei Day than on the slopes of our beautiful volcano? The art centers event will send chills through your body with the authentic celebration geared to all ages and honoring the arts and traditions of Hawaii on this special day.

Happy Lei Day!

Learn More:

The Hawaiian Lei Tradition

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