May Day is Lei Day

In Hawaii, May 1st is considered May Day or Lei Day as it is widely known here in the islands.  It’s a day to celebrate the Hawaiian culture.

My memories of May Day mostly surrounds my grade school years.  It’s a big deal here.  The sixth graders would consists of the May Day Court, a prince and princess for each of the Hawaiian Islands and there would be a King and Queen as well.  We held our May Day on the grassy knoll fronting Kaewai Elementary School.

In the second grade I remember doing a dance to the song “Lava Lava Samoa”, which was so much fun!  We even made our own tie-dye outfits and wore flowers in our hair.  I remember my dress was purple.  *giggles*

2nd Grade May Day

I think in the 4th grade we did a dance where we sat on the ground…something about a canoe?  Not sure…I don’t know why my mind skips grade years…but I remember the 2nd grade performance really well.

In the 6th grade I was in the May Day court.  I was the Princess of Maui and wore pink!  So not posting a picture up because my hair was pretty nuts back then – not proud of it!  LOL…but my favorite thing about being in the court was doing the Maui Waltz song with the whole court.  The song is so romantic and learning how to waltz was fun, at least I thought it was!

Some of my favorite things about May Day are the leis and making them.  Our teachers at Kaewai were so awesome, best teachers ever.  I remember bringing flowers from our garden so that our teachers could make our haku leis (leis on top of the head).  I loved watching them braid the flowers and ferns into the raffia.

Haku Leis

And they would also ask kids to bring in ti leaf if we had any.

If we didn’t have to go home right away after school we could hang out in their classrooms helping them with the leis.  I so LOVED that.  Our teachers at Kaewai were like our second moms.  They were always scolding us, but loving us and nurturing us too.

Awesome memories of days long gone…but May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii so Happy Lei Day everyone!


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