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91st Annual Lei Day Celebration
May 1, 2018
The lei known the world over, is a symbol of aloha. Great care is taken into the gathering of the materials to make a lei. After the materials are gathered, they are prepared and then fashioned into a lei. As this is done, the mana (or spirit) of the creator of the lei is sewn or woven into it. Therefore, when you give a lei, you are giving a part of you. Likewise, as you receive a lei, you are receiving a part of the creator of the lei.
Visitors to Hawai‘i quickly became accustomed to the lei as an expression of welcome and hospitality. Poet laureate, Don Blanding, thought that Hawai‘i should have a day set aside to celebrate and recognize the custom of giving and receiving lei. While working at the Honolulu Star Bulletin, Don discussed the idea with “Kamaaina Kolumn” columnist Grace Tower Warren. She enthusiastically embraced the idea and suggested that the day should be May Day and coined the phrase May Day is Lei Day. Inspired by their zeal, Leonard “Red” and Ruth Hawk, a musician, composed May Day is Lei Day in Hawai‘i. This song resonates throughout every Lei Day celebration in the State of Hawai‘i.
The Hawaiian Steel Guitar Association will play in the lei exhibit area (open area between the bandstand and the Waikīkī Shell), from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The Lei Contest Exhibit will be open to the public from 1:00-5:30 p.m., in the open area between the bandstand and the Waikīkī Shell.
Come to Kūlana Lei, a village of Hawaiian artisans, as they share their talents and skills with exhibits and demonstrations throughout the day (10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). While at Kūlana Lei, have the mo‘opuna (grandchildren) – come visit Tūtū (grandmother) at Tūtū’s Hale and hear stories, play Hawaiian games, learn a song, how to make a lei, and other Nā Mea Hawai‘i (Hawaiiana) activities.
In addition to Kūlana Lei, craft, lei and food vendors will also be in the park all day. All events are free and open to the public. Information subject to change.
Photos: The City and County of Honolulu
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