For Lei Day, up-coming graduations, & Mother’s Day around the corner, lei making season begins! Hundreds of families work countless hours to ensure that their loved one feels recognized and appreciated on these special days. But, leis don’t always have to be made out of flowers – in fact, nowadays lei can be made out of a variety of materials and use many techniques. 

May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii. Traditionally, lei making originated with Native Hawaiians. They would use lei to honor their akua or gods, as well as to beautify and distinguish themselves from others. Lei were made out of flowers, leaves, shells, feathers, nuts and even teeth from various animals. The Kukui nut lei was worn only by ali‘i (royalty). In ancient Hawai‘i, the maile lei was potentially the most sacred as it was often used to signify a peace agreement between chiefs. The intertwining of green maile vines would signify peace between the two groups. Today, lei greeting is still very much part of the Native Hawaiian culture, as they represent friendship, appreciation, love, graduation and recognition.

Some of the most popular for May Day and graduation are snack leis, made out of various Hawaiian snacks and goodies. If you’re looking for lei ideas, look no further. Our individually wrapped, colorful shortbread cookies, paired with snack size cookie bags, will make a one of a kind lei. All you will need is ribbon, lei netting bag and your choice of Diamond Bakery snacks! Simply cut the netting bag at your desired length, and stuff the snacks within the net. They should be evenly distributed in the bag. To separate them, we recommend using a ribbon with the color of your choice (perhaps the school colors). Finish off the lei with ribbon to connect the two ends and pau! You have a beautiful and flavorful handmade lei that will surely put a smile on the graduate’s face!