22 Oct BLESS YOUR VACATION WITH A TRADITIONAL LEI GREETING
Immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture and bless (Ho’opomaika’i) your vacation as soon as you step off the plane by letting us arrange a traditional Hawaiian lei greeting for you and your party.
THE LEI TRADITION
Along with surfboards and ukuleles, leis are recognized worldwide as uniquely “Hawaiian”. The history goes back to the arrival and settlement of Polynesians which took place from roughly 750 A.D. through the 1300s.
Throughout the South Pacific, Polynesians honored their gods by twining greens into wreaths and adorning their own bodies with strings of flowers and vines. When they arrived in Hawai`i, in addition to the useful plants they brought for food, medicine and building, they also brought ginger (`awapuhi), a fragrant flower used for decoration and adornment.
From these early times, men and women throughout the South Pacific and parts of Asia have adorned themselves with lei. (Note: Lei is the proper usage in both singular and plural forms.) Perhaps what has made Hawaii’s lei so unique is that its rich culture was isolated for many centuries from other civilizations. The tropics offered an abundance of blossoms, beads, and leaves.
Many visitors don’t realize that lei play an important role in modern Hawaii society, and are commonly presented to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, or simply to welcome guests. Look at pictures of local kids graduating high school or college and you’ll see entire faces covered up from all the leis piled around their necks! It’s an adorable tradition. Hawaiian lei mark any important event in a person’s life. There are lei for political, community, social, personal, farming, and religious ceremony.
The only Hawaii native on this list, the vines of the scented maile plant are used to create this leafy lei. It’s most often worn open-ended and given on very important occasions, such as weddings or graduations.
Purple Orchid Lei
The bright and colorful orchid lei are one of the most popular lei. They’re sturdier than most other flowers, are long-lasting, can be dyed and have no scent, making it a lei that truly is perfect for every person and occasion.
These pretty and delicate flowers pack an aromatic punch—in fact, you can usually smell them before you see them. Though these flowers are known as the Arabian Jasmine to the rest of the world, it was called pikake (peacock) by Hawaii’s Princess Kaiulani, who lovingly named it after her favorite bird.
The trumpet-shaped flower from the puakenikeni tree is one known for its strong, fragrant aroma. Introduced to Hawaii in modern times, it received its name puakenikeni (“10-cent flower”) locally, because each flower was once sold for 10 cents each in the early days when it was first used to make lei.
TUBEROSE AND TI LEAF LEI
The broad-leafed ti plant was a canoe plant brought to Hawaii with the early Polynesians. It’s a versatile plant used for medicine, shelter, clothing and food—and its leaves are woven together to create the ti leaf lei. Tuberose is native to Mexico and was introduced to Hawaii more recently, but was adopted by Hawaii’an culture ever since.
WHITE GINGER LEI
This sweet smelling lei plant originated in India and was brought to the Hawaiian Islands with the early Polynesian settlers. This exquisite lei lies flat with its petals facing outwards, emanates a beautifully unforgettable scent.
LEI ETIQUETTE 101
- Never refuse a lei if someone presents it to you. It is considered rude.
- To wear a lei correctly, drape it on your shoulders, with half it hanging to the front and half to the back.
- Pregant women should not wear a typical closed lei as it is believed to be bad luck. However, open-ended lei are considered appropriate.
- You will win the “Etiquette Award” from your friends and family by arranging a lei greeting at the airport by calling us at
And after you’ve made your special lei greeting arrangements, click the button below to reserve your hotel transportation!
Note: To ensure that we get your order exactly right lei greetings must be arranged by phone.