O‘AHU – May Day is Lei Day in Hawai‘i, but do you know that the World Record for the longest fresh flower lei belongs to India? No way! Time to reclaim that title… unofficially.
In lieu of a more traditional Lei Day Celebration, the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) encourages everyone to continue making lei and showing their aloha for one another by supporting the pandemic-modified Lei Day theme of “Nā Lei Koa” or Warrior Lei.
This theme was developed to show appreciation for the frontline workers who continue to work hard to keep us safe as we battle COVID-19. To continue the best practices of limiting physical interactions, we are encouraging everyone to make a lei using whatever material is available and display it in a prominent location on your property. Make sure it is firmly secured and doesn’t create any safety issues.
After you display the lei take a picture of your lovely creation, post it to social media using the hashtag #leidaycelebration2021 (Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter) and make sure to include how long your lei is (without the ties). Then we will tally up all of the lei made and see if together they can virtually beat the 3.11-mile World Record! More importantly, these lei of aloha serve as a tribute to the victims of COVID-19 and their families.
In 2008, DPR and Hawai‘i established the Guinness World Record for the longest fresh floral/greenery lei at one-mile long. A year later that title was claimed by San Pedro Laguna, Philippines with a 1.3-mile lei. The current world record stands at 3.11 miles long as established in Chennai, India in 2012.
In addition to this effort, DPR will also be broadcasting a first-ever presentation of the 2021 Lei Court Investiture, filled with the ceremony, hula, and festivities you would normally see at the Kapi‘olani Park Bandstand on Lei Day. The presentation will be available on our DPR social media platforms.
Looking for another way to celebrate Lei Day? Our Booth Complex is organizing a community effort to create a lei long enough to surround the entire district park. That’s over 1,600 feet of lei! Those interested should visit https://bit.ly/3r1QHQD for more information and to sign-up.
Interested in learning to make lei? We have several virtual learning opportunities available from park and botanical garden staff from around the island! Visit our online registration website pros.hnl.info and click on the “Activities” section. Type in “lei” to the search box at the top of that page to see what’s available. That way you can keep practicing your craft and stay sharp when we hopefully return to an in-person Lei Day Celebration and Lei Contest for 2022.