Hawaiian Lei Day
to Hawaii quickly became accustomed to the lei as an expression of
welcome and hospitality. While working at the Honolulu Star Bulletin,
poet laureate Don Blanding discussed his idea of celebrating and
recognizing the custom of giving and receiving lei with “Kamaaina
Kolumn” columnist, Grace Tower Warren. She enthusiastically embraced
the idea and suggested that the day should be May 1st, coining the
phrase “May Day is Lei Day.” Inspired by their zeal, Leonard “Red” and
Ruth Hawk composed the song, "May Day is Lei Day," which now resonates throughout every Lei Day celebration in Hawaii.
first Lei Day was in 1927 and celebrated in downtown Honolulu with a
few people wearing lei. Since then, it has grown, and many Hawaiians
wear lei on May Day.
Sources: Honolulu Parks and Recreation, Story, Photo.
History of the Luau
ancient Hawaii, men and woman ate their meals apart. Commoners and
women of all ranks also were forbidden by the ancient Hawaiian religion
to eat certain delicacies. This all changed in 1819, when King
Kamehameha II abolished the traditional religious practices. A feast
where the King ate with women was the symbolic act, ending the Hawaiian
religious tabus, and the luau was born.
The favorite dish at these feasts is what gave the luau
its name. Young and tender leaves of the taro plant were combined with
chicken, baked in coconut milk, and called luau. These royal luaus
tended to be big. In 1847, Kamehameha III hosted one of the largest
luaus in Hawaiian history. The list of foods prepared included 271
hogs, 482 large calabashes of poi, 3,125 salt fish, 1,820 fresh fish,
2,245 coconuts, 4,000 taro plants, and numerous other delicacies. King
Kalakaua, who was known as the “Merry Monarch” for his love of parties
and dance, invited over 1,500 guests to his 50th birthday luau. They
were fed in shifts of 500!
Luaus today are not as big as those hosted by Hawaiian
royalty in the 1800s, but they are a lot of fun and feature the same
traditional foods. Here's a list of recommended luaus on the islands of Oahu, Kauai, Maui and Hawaii.
Source: Hawaii Luaus.com
Photo: EMI Hawaii
How to Make a Basic Hawaiian Lei
Hawaiian lei makers use a special lei needle, which is about 10” long (you can order a lei making kit online), but you also can use a large sewing needle. First, cut a 45” piece of dental floss or carpet thread.
Carefully string the flowers
together by going through the centers of the flowers, from front to
back, and slide them two or three at a time down the string.
When you’ve finished, your lei will be 36” long, giving
you enough thread leftover to tie the ends together. Store your lei in
a moistened plastic bag, and keep it in the refrigerator until you’re
ready to use it.
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Beautiful Hawaiian beach view fit for the summertime.