Every year on 1 May, communities statewide come together for one of Hawaii’s most colourful celebrations of culture and aloha.
May Day is Lei Day in the Hawaiian Islands, and it’s a special time when people in Hawaii are tightly strung together by lei and hospitality.
Festivals are held throughout the islands, the smell of fragrant flowers and fresh greenery lingers in the air, music is shared, and a love for our island home reverberates far and wide.
While this year’s celebration will be limited by Hawaii’s government restrictions on public gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lei Day lives on.
Hawaiian Airlines has come up with a few ways for people from all over the world to celebrate Lei Day virtually:
1. A virtual concert
The airline teamed up with Hawaii non-profit Kahuli Leo Lea and local broadcast station Hawaii News Now in turning Oahu’s biggest annual May Day concert into a virtual showcase.
‘Hawaiian Airlines May Day 2020: Aloha Aina’ will debut on Friday 1 May at 7pm HST on Hawaii News Now (KHNL). The concert will be rebroadcast at 8pm HST on Hawaii News Now (K5), and streamed via HawaiiNewsNow.com as well as the station’s Facebook channel.
Viewers will enjoy a selection of Hawaii’s renowned artists performing remotely to comply with social distancing requirements.
Featured musicians include 17-time Na Hoku Hanohano award-winning group Keauhou, with special guests Robert Cazimero, Josh Tatofi, Lehua Kalima, and Kainani Kahaunaele.
Fans can also download lyrics to sing along before the concert kicks off and learn more about the line-up by clicking here.
2. Make your own lei
Hawaiian Airlines launched its new digital Sharing Aloha Series in April to share the carrier’s island home with its global audience during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Videos, hosted by Hawaiian Airlines’ featured chefs, employees and local artists, highlight recipe tutorials, hula and olelo Hawaiii (Hawaiian language) lessons, and more.
Exclusively for Lei Day, the airline has produced a lei-making video so people can share the aloha from wherever they are in the world. The video will be released on Friday 1 May at 2 pm HST and available for viewing here.
3. Share a lei with your ohana on social media
Hawaiian Airlines is encouraging people to share the lei love with their ohana digitally this May Day by taking a selfie with its Lei Day filter.
4. Learn the ‘Language of Lei’
Giving a lei is no small gesture, and it’s considered an important opportunity to show honour, high regard and love. Here in the Hawaiian Islands, many adorn people they care about with lei on special occasions or as an expression of their gratitude and aloha.
Hawaiian Airlines has put together a starter guide to help travellers get to know some of the most commonly exchanged lei in Hawaii and what different types of lei mean.
Featured image: Hawaii Tourism Authority/Heather Goodman