The gifting of leis are a signature part of Hawaiian tradition. However, Many don’t know the true meaning behind each signature lei being received. Let’s break it down together:
Purple, Green, and White Flower Leis
Purple, green, and white leis are often made from orchids. Orchid leis are given as a thank you or as a welcome to a visitor. This type of lei is easily found throughout the islands.
Green Maile Ti Leaf Leis
Maile ti leaf leis symbolize appreciation, admiration, and respect. Ti leaf leis are often used as gifts for graduations, weddings, anniversaries, and even memorials.
Orange, Red, or Brown Ilima Leis
Orange, red, or brown ilima flower leis symbolize love. The ilima flower is the official flower of the island of Oahu.
Deep Brown Kukui Nuts Leis
Kukui nuts are often dried and polished, resulting in a deep brown finish. The kukui nut lei once symbolized royalty. It can be given to a man or a woman, and is often intended to show respect or appreciation. The lei can be saved indefinitely.
White, Pink, or Red Carnation Leis
Leis that have white, pink, or red carnations are a symbol of love. Carnation leis are exchanged during weddings or at anniversary parties.
So, whatever the occasion, know that if there is a will, there is most likely a lei.