Did you know Lei Day is a statewide celebration in Hawaii? On every May 1 since 1928, people in the Aloha State pay homage to Hawaiian culture and the aloha spirit with traditional flower lei. Here’s a list of our top five favorite lei!
- Orchid – While this is the lei most people are familiar with, did you know there are many variations of orchid lei? The most common is the purple orchid, which visitors may receive upon arrival in Hawaii, and they also come in jade and white. ʻOkika (orchid) can be fashioned into different styles of lei including the ‘Butterfly,’ ‘Christina’ and much more!
- Tuberose – The sweet-scented Hawaiian tuberose flower, or kupaloke, is small and white. When strung together, especially with multiple strands or incorporated with small rose buds, they make for a beautiful and especially fragrant lei.
- Pikake – Otherwise known as jasmine, pikake is another flower with a strong yet sweet scent. This fragile, elegant bud was Princess Kaiulani’s favorite flower and is said to have been named after her pet peacocks that lived in her garden!
- Maile – Maile is the lei of choice for men in Hawaii. It is made of maile leaves woven together, and is most commonly worn open-ended. Throughout Hawaiian history, it was known as the “royal” lei because it was traditionally worn by aliʻi (Hawaiian monarchs). Today, it is worn by grooms, kahuna (priests) and even used during blessing ceremonies.
- He’e Berry – This lei style is very durable, and can last for up to four days! Its name translates to ‘octopus’ in Hawaiian, for its tentacle-like appearance in the way it grows on branches. He’e berry lei are typically woven with ti leaves or tuberose for a more unique look.