The Hawaiian flower lei and its history in Hawaiian culture July 22 2013
Hawaii has so many unique traditions. We have an exclusive language that is comprised of the shortest alphabet in the world (eight consonants and five vowels). Words like Aloha have multiple meanings: hello, goodbye and love. The word Aloha also means sympathy, kindness, compassion, affection and fondness. Aloha is more than a greeting or expression of love; it is the basis of what Hawaiians consider to be one of the culture’s core values. Another cultural tradition we have in Hawaii is the flower lei. Many vacationers receive a flower lei after departing an airplane. This gesture is to welcome all guests to the Island. Many people will take off the flower lei immediately or discard it in public. However, custom dictates that a lei should be offered graciously with a kiss and removed only in private. It is considered rude to remove a lei once it is accepted in view of anyone, but especially in view of the person who gave it to you. Safekeeping an authentic flower lei can be a challenge for many visitors. Finding a cold place to store the lei, like a refrigerator, is the best bet in keeping a flower lei fresh. This presents a sometimes difficult challenge for many tourists because some hotels rooms do not have refrigerators. A quick tip for tourists to prolong the life of a flower lei is to fill your bathroom sink with lukewarm water and submerge the lei for ten minutes. This will allow the flowers to soak up the water and rehydrate. After ten minutes, remove the lei and shake off the excess water. Cover a flat surface with a towel and place the lei on top to dry. This will help keep your flower lei looking fresh and beautiful-for at least a couple of days. The flower lei is one of the most signature culture items of Hawaii. It is rich in tradition and is a welcoming gift for all who visit the Islands. And be sure to match your lei with a pair of the world’s only Slip…aaahs from Hawaiian Jellys. You can shop online here, or you can visit us at one of our locations in Hawaii. We look forward to seeing you in the Islands soon. Mahalo!
Stay up to date with more cultural facts from Hawaii and other Hawaiian Jellys company events through our Aloh…aaah blog. We’d love to hear feedback from you! Please share your story with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mahalo!