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Meaning of Flower Leis 

a woman sitting at a beach

What first comes to your mind when you think of the Hawaii islands? There are certain things that come to people’s minds even if they’ve never been to the Aloha land. For example, Hawaii Hula Dancing, Pineapples, Surfing, Volcanoes, Rainbows, Ocean, Sunsets, and Flower Leis would probably be associated with Hawaii. In today’s article, we will talk about the history and the meaning of flower leis in Hawaii. 

Flower Lei is one of the most recognizable symbols of Hawaii. This gorgeous hand-made wreath usually consists of tropical flowers, and sometimes shells, leaves, and nuts. The flowers, that make leis smell and look great, are often orchids or plumeria. 

a close up of a flower

The History

When Polynesians came to the islands the history of Lei began. Since, they brought with them their traditions for adorning themselves with local vines and flowers. Originally, the design and wearing of a lei were meant to symbolize the wearer’s social rank. They are also worn as a form of honor to each other and the gods.

Stereotypical View

Since leis represent the Islands’ beauty and the connection to Hawaiian culture, a stereotypical view of a colorful necklace eventually began. This gave rise to the plastic flowers leis. Such leis don’t have the amazing smell of the Hawaii flowers or the deep connection to Hawaiian culture and traditions. These plastic leis have contributed to a stereotypical view of what a lei is and what it’s like to wear one.

The Meaning of Flower Leis

A lei is a common symbol of love, friendship, celebration, honor and/or greeting. Nowadays people give leis to each other for a variety of different occasions. It is symbolized warm and friendly feelings. And likewise, represents the ALOHA spirit. There are some guidelines to follow if you become a recipient of a lei.

a woman with pink hair looking at the camera

First of all, you should be aware that it is considered rude to refuse a gift. You should wear a lei around the neck, head, or a hat brim. To dispose of a lei, never throw it in the trash (if it’s real flowers lei). Instead, return it to nature by hanging it in a tree or floating it away in a body of water.