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May day is lei day

Today marks my favorite day in Hawaii—it's Lei Day! More than just a celebration of Hawaiian cultural traditions, this day is a vibrant display of community and belonging across the Hawaiian Islands. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to bring some Aloha spirit right onto my screen with creative projects!

The tradition of giving lei, believed to have originated with the native Hawaiians, involves presenting lei made of nuts, seeds, shells, leaves, and flowers as offerings to the gods. In 1927, writer Don Blanding recognized the global appreciation of this beautiful custom and successfully encouraged the local newspaper to promote May 1 as a day to celebrate Hawaiian culture by giving and wearing lei. This idea quickly gained traction, leading to the official establishment of Lei Day in 1929. Initially celebrated in downtown Honolulu, the festivities soon moved to the spacious Queen Kapiolani Park in Waikiki due to the growing number of participants.

Today, thousands continue to gather at Queen Kapiolani Park to enjoy hula performances, lei exhibits, and a shared appreciation of Hawaiian culture. Among the many talented lei makers, my top two favorites in Oahu are Pua Hana Flowers and Ocean Dreamer. Their exquisite craftsmanship truly captures the spirit of Lei Day.

If you're new to this tradition, remember to honor someone with a lei by draping it gently around the neck, letting it rest on their shoulders, and accompanying the gesture with a kiss on the cheek or a hug. If you are fortunate enough to receive a lei, wear it throughout the event to show appreciation to the giver.

As a makeup artist, Lei Day inspires me to think about the ways we adorn our outer selves to reflect cultural significance and personal identity. Today, I have combined my love for traditional Hawaiian culture with my passion for makeup and fashion by creating AI looks that complement the natural beauty of lei. Using palettes inspired by the vibrant colors found in Pua Hana Flowers and Ocean Dreamer creations, I seek to enhance the celebratory atmosphere of Lei Day through beauty. This melding of art forms is a tribute to the rich cultural heritage of Hawaii and a celebration of the creativity it inspires in all of us. Join me in embracing this beautiful day, not just in spirit but in style! 🌺 #LeiDay #HawaiiCulture #MayDay #MakeupArtistry

Flower lei floating in ocean

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