Short History of Leis in Hawaii
Leis were brought to Hawaii by early Polynesian voyagers. Early leis were made of shells, bones, teeth as well as vines, leaves and flowers. Royalty wore leis made of brightly colored feathers harvested from the local tropical birds. Today the tradition still thrives. Every May 1st Hawaiians celebrate Lei Day. On this day lei making contests and parties are held and people and statues alike are adorned in flowers.
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Leis of the Islands
Certain plants and flowers became associated with different islands due to abundance or special meanings. In 1923 Hawaii's Territorial Legislature adopted "Na Lei 'o Hawaii" designating each island an official lei and color. Oahu was given the yellow ilima, Maui was given the pink rose lei or loke, the big island of Hawaii was given the red lehua, Kaho'olawe the silver-gray hinahina, Kauai was given the purple mokihana, Niihau was given white pupu shells, Lanai the orange kauna'oa and Molokai was given the green kukui. If you are interested in exploring flower leis visit your local library to find books on Hawaii's native flowers, leis and how to make them.
Cause for Celebration
During celebrations for King Kamehameha Day, the Merrie Monarch Festival and Aloha Week music, hula, parties and parades prevail. Hawaii's flower leis provide the color. Parades feature Pa'u riders who ride horseback representing their home island by wearing the official lei of that island. The riders are judged and receive awards based on horsemanship, unity and the creative presentation of the the flowers adorning both horse and rider. On King Kamehamea Day the King's Statue in downtown Honolulu is draped with 26 foot strands of each lei. In Hawaii most people receive leis on their birthdays, graduations and other special party events.
Many people dream of a tropical wedding. Flower leis can add a tropical touch to your wedding or party no matter the location. Hawaiian Luau Party Supply is pleased to offer a wide variety of leis. Here in the islands some popular wedding leis are: Tuberose leis, Tuberose with Carnation leis, Mokihana leis, Loke or Rose leis and Orchid leis. The Maile lei, an open lei, is usually worn by the groom. Please contact us to inquire about bulk discount pricing.