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May Day (Lei Day) 2019

Lei is not just an accessory. This element of Hawaiian culture even has its own holiday

May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii, a statewide celebration of the vital element of Hawaiian culture. The festivities begin in the morning on the 1st of May and continue throughout the day. Lei day was founded in 1929 to celebrate Hawaiian traditional craft of lei making. Each island of Hawaiian archipelago has its own type of lei which make it an essential element of ethnic identity and culture.

The largest May Day celebrations are held at Oahu. The vivid Lei Day Celebration is held at Queen Kapiolani Park of Waikiki featuring lots of live music, a lei contest, hula dance performances, cultural demonstrations, and many vendors selling Hawaiian crafts and delicious food. Another celebration is held on Waikiki Beach, in front of the The Royal Hawaiian featuring free canoe rides, surfing demos, live music concert, and the Waikiki Beachboys baseball team fan events.

On Maui, the holiday is marked by the Lei Day Heritage Festival at Hale Hōʻikeʻike at the Bailey House Museum. A free event features live music, a lei contest, food, and entertainment. On the Big Island, the Lei Day Festival takes place in Hilo at the Kalakaua Park. On Kauai, the annual Lei Day Festival takes place at the Kauai Marriott.

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