Hawaiian Culture: The Lei

PURELEI Insights
Laura Hock
Hawaiianische Kultur: Die Lei

A Tradition of Giving and Wearing 

When you close your eyes and think of Hawaii, what's the first thing that comes to your mind?  When I close my eyes and think of Hawaii, I immediately think of lush green hills, volcanoes and black sand beaches, tikis, hula dancers and open minded people wearing leis and flower crowns. Hawaiian culture is not only rich and unique, but also well known around the globe. In this article, I want to deep-dive into the culture of the Pacific islands that inspires us so much and explore the history and special meaning of the flower necklace, the lei

Fresh flowers, fresh mind. 

If you will ever get the chance to visit Hawaii, or have been one of the lucky ones who already got to visit this paradise, I am sure you've come across at least one lei (a day). Lei garlands are even sold in the supermarket, Team PURELEI discovered when they went on a production trip there. 

Facts about the lei: 

We all agree that leis are beautiful, but I've promised you a deep-dive so here's what you need to know when you want to understand – and respect – the extraordinary culture of Hawaii even better: 

  • The tradition was brought to Hawaii by early Polynesian voyagers settling in Hawaii
  • Leis are used to celebrate many different occasions and symbolize love in weddings, peace in groups or hospitality when welcoming others 
  • It is considered rude to refuse a lei – but who would do so anyway? :)
  • Every year on May 1, Hawaii celebrates Lei Day
  • As tourism grew, the lei soon became Hawaii's national symbol 
  • The lei and the pure Aloha way of life inspired Alisa, Freddy and Etienne when founding the company:

PURELEI stands for both a pure way of life and the lei, Hawaii's world famous flower necklace.

Hawaiian terminology describing a lei: 

A lei that is worn around the neck is called lei ‘ä’ï, while the flower crown, a lei worn on the head, is referred to as lei po’o. The term haku lei includes both lei styles, as it refers to the traditional technique a lei is made of. 

I hope you enjoyed this quick deep-dive into Hawaiian culture, and I would so much appreciate if you would leave a comment below with what you want to know more of next time! 

Sending you lots of love and Aloha


Laura Hock


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