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In Hawaii, May Day is Lei Day, and the state will celebrate

Hawaii celebrates the lei, the symbol of aloha, each year on May 1

Celebrations will be held throughout Hawaii on May 1 as the 50th state celebrates Lei Day, a long-standing tradition.

Lei Day got its start in 1928 in Honolulu as a way of keeping alive the centuries-old practice of presenting people with floral wreaths to say “Aloha.” The custom is observed every May Day.

Honolulu’s Lei Day Celebration will be from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. in Queen Kapiolani Park near Waikiki Beach.

Award-winning leis will be displayed and members of the lei court will be presented to the public. There will also be live entertainment, including hula performances.

Info: (808) 768-3041.

On Kauai, Paul and Noelani Pomroy will carry on a tradition Paul’s mother started 35 years ago with their annual lei contest at the Kauai Museum  in Lihue.

“It’s done to perpetuate the culture,” Paul told me, adding that May Day Lei Day has become so popular that some tourists plan their vacations to coincide with the event.

About 100 lei makers are expected to present their finest work to judges, with prizes to be awarded in several categories. Children can demonstrate their creativity during hour-long lei-making classes from 9 a.m.–3 p.m.

Local craftspeople will be on hand to sell their works, including leis.

Info: (808) 245-6931

A lei contest will also form part of the Lei Day Heritage Festival on Maui. The event runs from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. at the Bailey House Museum in Wailuku.

Info: (808) 244-3326.


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