Got plumeria? Donations wanted ahead of a longstanding Hawaii tradition

Got plumeria? Donations wanted ahead of a longstanding Hawaii tradition
The ladies of Ahahui Kaahumanu will make long lei with the plumeria to drape on the Kamehameha statue. (Source: Dillon Ancheta)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The ladies of the Hawaiian society Ahahui Kaahumanu need your help to pull off a longstanding tradition.

Ahead of the annual Kamehameha Day lei draping ceremony, the group is asking for donations of yellow plumeria.

Ahahui Kaahumanu gathers to make lei the morning of the lei draping ceremony.
Ahahui Kaahumanu gathers to make lei the morning of the lei draping ceremony. (Source: Dillon Ancheta)

The flowers will be used to make lengthy strands of lei fit for a king between 18 and 20 feet long.

They’re asking anyone with the yellow plumeria to drop off flowers on Friday, from 7 a.m. and continuing throughout the day, at the Kamehameha Statue fronting Ali’iolani Hale in Honolulu.

Yellow plumeria are preferred, but they will accept all colors.

When asked how many flowers are needed, Leilani Kahoano of Ahahui Kaahumanu said, “Oh my gosh, thousands!”

“We often get over 20,000 that come from Moloka’i as well as Wai’anae, so by the time we finish, we’ve probably strung over 30,000-plus plumeria flowers,” she added.

The ladies get together on the day of to string the flowers for the ceremony. It’s all a part of the 2019 King Kamehameha Day celebration.

The lei draping begins around 3 p.m. Dozens in the community flock to the statue to watch hundreds of feet of lei being draped in honor of Kamehameha.

Firefighters with the Honolulu Fire Department assist with the ceremony every year.

Lei draping marks the official start to the festivities. There will also be a floral parade, ho’olau’le’a and other community events in the days following lei draping.

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