Friday, May 1, 2009

.may day is lei day.

May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii
Garlands of flowers everywhere
All of the colors in the rainbow
Maidens with blossoms in their hair.

Flowers that mean we should be happy
Throwing aside a load of care
Oh, May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii
May Day is happy days out there!

Today is May Day back home in Hawai'i.  Everyone is most likely wearing a lei, a garland made up of fragrant flowers and foliage, sporting aloha shirts and pretty mu'umu'us.  As a kid, we celebrated May Day each year with festivities in our schools, commemorating the Hawaiian culture and monarchy.  A complete royal court would be selected from amongst the students, usually by the students.  The court would consist of a king and queen, a prince and princess from each of the eight islands dressed in garments of a color specific to their island, ladies-in-waiting, and torch bearers.  Before the celebration would take place, a kupuna, or priest/priestess, would enter into the arena, chanting in Hawaiian, asking for blessings from the gods.  Once everyone was situated, the dances would begin!  Each grade level would practice a specific dance, usually the hula, and perform it on May Day for the royal court.  One of my personal favorites was dancing "Rocka Hula" by Elvis Presley in the third grade!  I loved it!  May Day was and is a wonderful day to celebrate the diversity and beauty of Hawai'i. To see a tribute video to lei making go here and an amazing hula performance here.  


  1. sounds so wonderful....what a beautiful place to grow up.

  2. "Rock-a-Hula"?! no no no kathy. well i guess you guys had no choice.

  3. Stopped by to say hi from one unraveller to another. Take care

  4. What a wonderful bog entry. I love the history behind May Day that you just described. What a joyous time in Hawaii!



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