May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii

By Mary Simms

WAIKIKI- (KHNL) May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii! In Waikiki, a big event marked the 80th anniversary of Honolulu's "Lei Day". It was complete with hula, musical performances, and of course a lei competition!

Ray Wong loves lei. This lei day he's having fun creating.

"And by looking good, its just looking good to my eye, if it doesn't look good in your eye well that's too bad because i like it."

As a judge he looks at workmanship, and for that "something" special.

"A lei has to look sassy, where it says 'Hey, I am the winner.' When you walk the contest there's going to be a lei that says i am it."

Like hula, Ray says lei is an integral part of Hawaii's past.

"I remember when I was little, going to City Hall for the lei contest. My mother used to take us. May Day was Lei Day in Hawaii."

This retired teacher has been making lei for 35 years. He's always on the lookout for these.

"Even when I drive around the island or every day, I am looking at yards. I am looking at the foliage and I'm looking at the color. I'm saying oh i don't recognize that plant there, I wonder what it is."

Even though he makes these exotic lei, he says simple plumeria lei are his favorite.

"Oh but that's the best lei. To me tourist, when they think of a lei in hawaii, they think of a yellow plumeria lei. That's the lei that shouts Hawaii, and I wish more people would learn to love that lei. Because, I love that lei."

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