Lei Day is an island wide celebration in Hawai’i
A Lei Day celebration first took place in 1927 in Hawai’i. In 1928 a newspaper writer named Don Blanding wrote an article about the Lei Day celebration and that it should be a Hawaiian holiday to celebrate Hawaiian culture with lei making and wearing of lei. Another writer named Grace Tower Warren suggested that Lei Day be celebrated on May 1, in conjunction with May Day. She was credited with saying, “Mayday is Lei day” (in Hawai’i Nei). In 1929 Lei Day became an official holiday celebration in Hawai’i.
The importance of the lei to the Hawaiian culture is that it is meant to represent the unspoken expression of Aloha; far beyond the upfront greeting and farewell commonly known. The traditions of the “Hawaiian Lei Day” are celebrated with parades, ceremonies, and festivals.
Throughout the history of the Lei Day holiday the main focus is on preserving the Hawaiian culture and Aloha Spirit. Although in recent years the celebration has meshed into festivities representing the culturally diversity of Hawai’i with ethnic groups such as, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Korean, Filipino, and Puerto Rican.