This Sunday, May 1, 2022, will mark the 94th annual May Day celebration in Hawaii. Every year on the first of May, Hawaii locals and visitors alike don colorful leis and share in the spirit of aloha with hula performances, lei-making demonstrations, lei contests, entertainment and more.
History of May Day in Hawaii
Photo courtesy of History Education Hawaii News.
In 1927, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin published an article written by Don Blanding, a poet from Oklahoma, which suggested creating a new holiday centered around the Hawaiian custom of wearing and making leis. In his book Hula Moons, Blanding says:
The custom of weaving and wearing flower leis originated with the Hawaiians so long ago that they have no record of its beginning...When tourists discovered Hawaii, they loved the charming gesture and they spread the word of it until the lei became known around the world...Hawaii observed all of the mainland holidays as well as those of a number of the immigrant nationalities in the Islands. But there was no day that was peculiarly and completely Hawaii's own; that is none that included all of the polyglot population there. So, the bright idea that I presented was, 'Why not have a Lei Day?' Let everyone wear a lei and give a lei. Let it be a day of general rejoicing over the fact that one lived in a paradise. Let it be a day for remembering old friends, renewing neglected contacts, with the slogan 'Aloha,' allowing that flexible word to mean friendliness on that day.
Blanding discussed the idea with “Kama'aina Kolumn” columnist Grace Warren. Enthusiastically embracing the idea, Warren suggested the name "May Day" and coined the phrase "May Day is Lei Day." Leonard “Red” and Ruth Hawk, inspired by the new holiday, composed "May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii" in 1928 for the first Lei Day festival. This song resonates throughout every Lei Day celebration in the State of Hawaii, with its memorable lyrics:
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
May Day, 1953. Photo courtesy of Kohala Public Library Archives.
2022 Lei Day Celebrations
Queen Kapiolani Park
The largest Lei Day celebration takes place on Oahu at Queen Kapiolani Park. This year's festival - the first since 2019 - will take place Sunday, May 1, 2022 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The theme for the celebration is Lei Wao Nahele (forest lei).
SALT at Our Kaka'ako
On Sunday, May 1, 2022, from 10 a.m. – noon, the community is invited to join Lei Day festivities at The Barn in SALT at Our Kaka'ako. The event will include live music featuring Denny Ono (10 a.m. - 11 a.m.) and a hula performance by Halau O Napualaikauikaiu, led by Kumu Hula Sallie Yoza (11 a.m. – noon). Plus, there will be lei-making and keiki crafts for the community to enjoy, while supplies last.
Additionally, most elementary schools across Hawaii celebrate May Day with traditional and modern hula performances and a May Day court, with each grade level representing a different Hawaiian Island by wearing that island's colors. Performance dates vary by school.
Which Flowers Represent the Hawaiian Islands?
A special flower represents each of the Hawaiian Islands.
Which Leis Represent the Hawaiian Islands?
Happy May Day from Locations!
Congratulations, you have access to Hawaii's most comprehensive Real Estate Search! Please help us to better serve you by answering these optional questions.
This email is already registered. Click the button below and we'll send you a link to reset your password.
You have already registered using your FB account.
Check your inbox for an email from firstname.lastname@example.org. It contains a link to reset your password.
The agent who gave you access to this website is no longer with Locations LLC.
Due to local MLS regulations, you will need to re-register if you would like to continue your access.
We will pre-fill the registration form with information in our files. Once you click Register you can either select a new agent or one will be assigned for you.
Sorry for the inconvenience, Locations LLC.
Please contact your agent for access to LocationsHawaii.com.
Schedule a Virtual Tour
Request an appointment to view this property by completing the information below. Please note your appointment is not confirmed until an agent calls you.
Disclaimer: The properties we may show you may be Locations LLC listings or listings of other brokerage firms. Professional protocol requires agent to set up an appointment with the listings agent to show a property. Locations, LLC may only show properties marked "Active" and "ACS".
Keep your eye on this property! Save this listing and receive e-mail updates if the status of the property changes.
Share this property by completing the the form below. Your friend will receive an e-mail from you with a link to view the details of this property.
How can we help?
Send a message and we'll respond shortly.