In Hawaii, May Day is Lei Day. That makes sense. The holiday, started back in 1928 by poets Don Blanding and Grace Tower Warren with May Day as a template, is meant to celebrate flowers and spring Hawaiian style. Since leis are kind of like May Day baskets you wear around your neck, wearing a lei on May Day is a perfect fit. I read on hawaiianlanguage.com, this day was a huge ta-do in the past. From one woman’s account, it sounds like schools closed and it was flower mania for everyone.
There are Lei Day activities in various parts of Hawaii today. Some continue on through the week. Here’s a professionally made video on Lei Day that gives a polished, historical look, including an overview of activities. For the history of the lei, click here.
The first time I went to Hawaii, my great aunt and great uncle who lived on Oahu met my husband and me at the airport and put leis around each of our necks. Think of rolling around in a field of the most fragrant flowers and that’s what it’s like to wear a lei.