May Day

May Day or May 1, is Lei Day in Hawaii. Celebrations include the making and exchanging of leis among the local people, music, entertainment and food.

Lei day was first celebrated on May l, 1928. In early 1928 writer and poet Don Blanding wrote an article in a local paper suggesting that a holiday be created centered around the Hawaiian custom of making and wearing lei. It was fellow writer Grace Tower Warren who came up with the idea of a holiday on May 1 in conjunction with May Day. She is also responsible for the phrase, "May Day is Lei Day." At the end of the day, prizes are offered for the most unique or outstanding lei work.

Each Hawaiian Island has it own official lei color:

Oahu – lei ilima (yellow)
Maui – lei lokelani akala (pink rose)
Kauai – lei mokihana (violet)
Hawaii – lei lehua (red)
Molokai – lei kukui (silver/green)
Lanai – lei kaunaoa (orange)
Kahoolawe – lei hunching (silver/grey)
Niihau – lei pupu (white shells)
Molokini – lei limu kala (blue)

Hawaii abounds with ancient spirituality. It is perhaps one of the only places that the ancient world is so totally interwoven with the modern world.


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