May 1st is Lei Day in Hawai’i!
The first Lei Day was proposed in 1927 in Honolulu by poet and artist Don Blanding. Leonard “Red” and Ruth Hawk composed “May Day is Lei Day in Hawai’i,” the traditional holiday song.
May Day is a day set aside to celebrate native Hawaiian culture and celebrate spring. Growing up on Maui, I remember practicing for school May Day performances during elementary and intermediate school. In 6th grade, a number of us were chosen as part of the May Day Court – a male and female representative for each island and king and queen over the court. It was such a big deal back then . . . I hope it still is now. In high school, I saw some of the most talented performers perform on May Day. . . .all fellow high school students.
We’ve had our own cultural celebration here in Utah. There is a strong pioneer heritage here and many Utahns have ancestors who were pioneers that crossed the plains. My daughter has been dressing up in ‘pioneer wear’ and has a list of things that she can do to earn points for her class. They did an awesome cultural performance a few weeks back . . . . and also a great hula performance this past week. Proud of her.
Wishing you and everyone else a Happy May Day!