You step off the plane in Hawai‘i and are met with the gentle Hawaiian tradewinds, the glistening warmth of the tropical sun, and most importantly, a stunning fresh, fragrant flower lei that is placed around your neck. Yes, the lei is beautiful, smells divine, and instantly enhances your natural beauty, but what’s the real purpose behind the traditional Hawaiian lei giving?
Hawai‘i’s lei with its many parts, reflects purpose and natural beauty, a tapestry of color and texture. It is a combination of love, friendship, respect and welcome. It is the caring spirit that is Aloha. The wearing and giving of a lei is synonymous with Hawai‘i. The varieties of lei are endless – feathers, flower, seeds, foliage, shell, yarn, and in modern times even candy lei are given.
At Luxe Travel Hawai‘i, we offer many different type of fresh flower and foliage lei for you and your guests. Whether it be for a lei greeting, special dinner, graduation, celebration, or just to say “Aloha”, there are many reasons a lei is the perfect gift. From the traditionally seen fresh flower orchid lei, to the extravagantly weaved “Christina” lei, to the regal Maile lei – there is something for every occasion and personality!
Check out some of our lei below to see which lei might be most appropriate for you and your guests:
Single Strand Jade Orchid Lei: most commonly given lei in Hawai‘i. An affordable, fresh flower lei that can be given to all, for any occasion. Although unscented, this lei comes in a variety of colors, from Jade, to white, to purple.
Cigar/Mock Orange Lei: Although there is no cigar or orange smell to this lei, it is a very striking, popular lei typically selected for men. Its name came from the blazing red and orange appearance of a burning cigar, and its stability and durability make it easy to give for any occasion. Almost 2,000 of the kika blossoms are needed to make this lei!
Christina Lei: modern lei named after the daughter of the creator. This lei is created by sewing over 500 orchid petals together, one on top of the other, to create an elegant flat lei. Due to the meticulousness of creation, this lei is normally given just on very special occasions, or to important guests.
Pikake Lei: Arguably the most fragrant flower lei of all, this lei comes from the Jasmine family, made of tiny white ball-like flowers which emit a sweet and heavenly fragrance. This lei was a favorite of Princess Ka‘iulani, and as such is given to brides or guests of honor at important events. The name “Pikake” actually came from Princess Ka‘iulani, as pikake means peacock, which frequently roamed in the Princess’ garden.
Maile Lei: Known as the “Royal Lei”, this open-ended lei was prized by ali‘i (Hawaiian royalty), and given often to denote honor and respect. This lei is more often given to men, especially for proms, weddings, and special occasions. Ancient Hawaiian traditions say that a woman would place the maile lei on the doorstep of the man she hoped to marry, announcing her intentions to the entire village. During the wedding ceremony, the kapuna would join the hands of the man and woman, and tie them with maile to symbolize their commitment to one another.
Contact us for more lei options!
Fun Fact: Did you know that when presenting a lei to a woman who is hāpai (pregnant) it is customary to break the lei before placing it around her neck. It is Hawaiian superstition that wearing a complete lei (full circle) may cause the umbilical cord to wrap around the baby’s neck.