The Gift of a Lei

If you have traveled to Hawaii, you probably received a Lei greeting. A lei is a symbol of love, friendship, celebration, honor or greeting. A Lei, is a true symbol of Aloha. While visiting Kauai for my Master Kauai Specialist training and attending my local trainings, I have come to truly appreciate the meaning behind them. I have a special thank you to Maile & Lani, from the Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau, for instilling to us the true meaning of a Lei. When you are gifted a Lei, the feeling you will have is special, it’s hard to describe.

Hawaii Lei

In Hawaii A Lei is a symbol of Aloha

They are absolutely beautiful and can be constructed of flowers, leaves, shells, seeds, nuts, feathers, and even bone and teeth of various animals.  I have received leis both made from flowers & nuts. The flower ones remind me of my Grandma Lila, Orchids were her favorite flower, as are mine.

Best way to store:

  • Place them in the refrigerator. The idea temperature is between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Spray it with a fine mist of cool water and wrap it up in a moist paper towel.
  • Keep it in a plastic bag.

Did you know there is a proper way to dispose of a Lei?

I bet you didn’t give it much thought at the time, which is fine. You didnt know. A Lei should never be thrown in the trash as it is considered disrespectful. It’s like throwing the gift-giver’s affection away. It is customary to return the lei to the earth. You can either remove the flowers from the string and scatter them in the ocean, bury them or burn them. Or simply hang the lei on a door or window to dry it out.

Hawaii Lei
Hawaii Lei

When I was in Kauai, many of us agents carried them to the next resort and stored them in the fridge. When we were at the Sheraton Kaua‘i Coconut Beach Resort, there was a special place to place them.

After a local training, my friend, Maile with the gifted me a beautiful Orchid Lei. I placed it over a rock in my yard and it is still there. They look just as beautiful dried as they do fresh.

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