May Day is Lei Day in Hilo, 1941.

Day to Don Lei

Tomorrow is a great day here in Hilo; it is the day to wear lei, and everyone will be seen walking on the streets with lei.

Because tomorrow has become the day to wear lei, the Civic Club of Hilo took steps to hold a grand exhibit, and it will be shown to the public.

This event is held every year by this association, and this they expanded it by planing to have a grand entertainment at Kalakaua Square. At the same time, the queen who recently was victorious at the Holoku Ball this past month will preside while those that did not win the contest will be her attendants.

Joining in on the exhibition will also be queens chosen from the various schools of Hilo nei.

There will also be music by the Civic Club Choir, the Hawaiian Women’s Club of Hilo, and the County Band and the Hilo High School Band. Continue reading

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Lei Day 50 years ago, 1968.

It all started in 1928

Wear your aloha shirts, muumuus, leis tomorrow

As has been the custom since Grace Tower Warren and Don Blanding began the observance of Lei Day in 1928, aloha shirts, muumuus and leis will be the garb of the day tomorrow.

Throughout the Islands each year on May Day, schools and other institutions present their May programs and lei contests.

The Oahu Lei Contest, sponsored by the Department of Parks and Recreation, will be judged tomorrow and the leis will be on display at the Waikiki Shell from 1 to 9 p.m.

Prizes totaling $650 will be awarded to  lei makers in different categories.

Darlene Bakke, this year’s lei queen, will reign over the festivities including music, hula dancing and pageantry, to be held at the Shell.

A demonstration of kahili making—kahilis were the standard of royalty in Old Hawaii—will be given from 9 to 11 a.m. on the Shell lawn. Continue reading

May Day in Hilo Town, 1942.

Pertaining to Lei Day

Put on by the Hawaiian Civic Club

The main things on the schedule for Lei Day this year were explained by Wilfred K. Hussey, the president of the Hawaiian Civic Club [kalapu Kiwila Hawaii].

The schedule is being planned out by the committee selected for that work, and chaired by Clifford H. Bowman and assisted by Peter Mehau, Charles Murray, Ernest Fernandez, Johnson Kahili and Charles Auld. Continue reading

May Day, Honokaa style, 1942.

[Found under: “Meahou O Na Kohala Ame Hamakua”]

At the Park of Honokaa High School in the morning of thr coming Friday, that being the 1st of May, called May Day and Lei Day, will be held a celebration of LEI DAY.

That man famous for his musical compositions who came to Hilo some years ago, named Don Blanding, is the one who pushed the idea of saying Lei Day along with May Day. His idea for this day was for everyone across the islands to wear a lei, for the reason that lei in Hawaii, lei symbolize—”ALOHA.” Continue reading

Honokaa School May Day, 1942.

MAY DAY & LEI DAY

Honokaa School Park
Friday, May 1, 1942

Mr. Herman Larsgard, Principal
Mrs. Hattie L. S. Reinhardt, Chairman
Mr. Roy Mitsuka, Announcer
Miss Sueko Higashi, Information & Phone
Mr. Robert Main, Carpenter, Stage

9:30–11:30 A. M.

Sound of bugles or shell horns announcing the
Appearance of May Queen, Miss Hannah Akini
(Everybody clapping hands)
May Day & Lei Day Prayer, Reverend Abraham Poepoe

Sound of bugles everybody steps into his place for the
May Day & Lei Day Parade

May Day Queen leads the parade with her attendants,
followed by the rest in the other of the parade

Queen walks to her chair on the stage, her attendants stand in
their places, the Queen bids ALOHA to everybody and asks
them to sit in their places

Chant:—HOOKUPUS to the MAY QUEEN
(Queen thanks for the HOOKUPUS)

Hawaiian Hulas, Mrs. C. Hermann & Girls
Hawaiian Music, Auna Family Troupe
Impersonation, Don Blanding, originator of
Lei Day in Hawaii, Dr. C. L. Carter
Song: “May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii,” The whole Honokaa School (Led by Mrs. Carl Braun)
May Day and Lei Day Cheerio, Mr. Kim and Cheer Leaders

Hawaiian Games:
Mrs. A. G. Robertson, 1A—Hawaiian Menehunes at work and disappear behind stage
Mrs. Annie Awong, 2A—Hawaiian Yo Yo
Mrs. M. Hayakawa, 1B—Gathering flowers and ti leaves
Mrs. Daisy Souza, 2B—Stringing leis
Mrs. M. Meyers, 2B—String games
Mrs. L. McGillivray, 4A—Slapping game
Mrs. H. Reinhardt, 4B—Play Pio
Mrs. E. Montgomery, 3A—Hawaiian May Pole Dance
Mr. C. Kobayashi, 3B—Uma, Skip rope
Mrs. J. Fraser, 5A—Make flower kahilis, paper capes
Mr. J. Souza, 5B—Sling shots and send runners to get the maa stone and return them to Queen
Mrs. C. Gordon, 6A—Make flower kahilis, paper capes
Mr. Robert Hayakawa, 7—Fishing: rod & line, throw net, torch fishing, hukilau
Surfing with surf boards, Spearing fish
Hawaiian School, Mrs. Hattie Reinhardt
Hawaiian Hulas & Hawaiian Songs, Auna Family Troupe
Mrs. Kekoalani & Girls
Musical Selections (8 or 10 pieces), Army Band
Leader, Sgt. Mitchell
Hawaii Ponoi
Star-Spangled Banner

ORDER OF MAY & LEI DAY PARADE

JUNIOR POLICE
American Flag
Honokaa Unit Soldiers
Majorettes (2) Juliet Paiva, Catherine Paiva & Antonina Figueroa
Army Band
Scout Boys, Elder Weeks—Scout Girls, Mrs. Virginia Torres
Mrs. A. G. Robertson, 1A Pennant “ALOHA”
Mrs. A. Awong, 1B Pennant, “LEI DAY IN HONOKAA”
Mrs. M. Hayakawa, 2A, Pennant, “MAY DAY IN HONOKAA”
Mrs. D. Souza, 2B, Pennant, “Hauoli Kakou”
Mrs. M. Meyers, 2B, Pennant, “MINOAKA”
Mrs. Montgomery, 3A, Pennant, “HULA HULA”
Mr. C. Kobayashi, 6B, Pennant, “Penei Hoi”
Mrs. L. McGillivray, 4A, Pennant, “Auwe Nohoi Oe”
Mrs. H. L. Reinhardt, 4B, Pennant, “Lanakila”
Mrs. J. Fraser, 5A, Pennant, “Hele Malie”
Mrs. J. Souza, 5B, Pennant, “MANAOLANA”
Mr. R. Hayakawa, 7, Pennant, “Lawaia”
7th grade and teacher,
8th grade and teacher,
9th grade and teacher,
10th grade and teacher,
11th grade and teacher,
12th grade and teacher.
Scouts lead Army to bleachers and all the children to their seats on bleachers.

Mr. I Fukuda, Type Programs
Miss M. Genung, Girl Reserves
Mrs. M. Chen, Make ilima paper leis
Mrs. H. Spalding, Red Cross
Mrs. Kobatake, Majorettes (Juliette Paiva & Sisters)
Miss Takano, Make paper leis
Mrs. C. Braun, Make paper ilima leis
Mrs. Ethel Blackadar, Chairman, Decorate Stage
Mr. Yamauchi, Mr. K. Hayakawa, Janitors, Helpers
Mrs. Mollison & Mrs. Torres, Prepare May Day Lunch
Mr. R. Kim, Pennants

(Hoku o Hawaii, 4/29/1942, p. 4)

MAY DAY & LEI DAY

Ka Hoku o Hawaii, Volume XXXVII, Number 1, Aoao 4. Apelila 29, 1942.

Lei Day in Lahaina, 1944.

[Found under: “Na Hunahuna Mea Hou O Maui”]

Lei Making is Held

Last week, an event was held to commemorate Lei Day by the classes of Lahainaluna School.

The May Day queen was Kuulei Bechert and her attendant was Theone Freeland.

The featured things at this event were the display of items of koa, the lei, lauhala and applique quilt [kapa apana]. The koa display was from Mrs. G. Alan Freeland, and lauhala was done by Mrs. C. K. Kunane. The lei were done by some classes of the school watched over by Hannah Reimann.

Also undertaken was the selling of war bonds and the proceeds reached $10,000.

The quilt, “Ka Lama o Lahainaluna” [The Light of Lahainaluna] was on a dark background with a pattern of kukui leaves, fruit, and torch, which was spread out to be seen.

Mrs. John T. Moir, Jr., was the adviser of this event, and Mrs. Alice Banham was her assistant along with William McWayne; they were the supervisors of this program.

(Hoku o Hawaii, 5/17/1944, p. 1)

Malama Na Hana Lei

Ka Hoku o Hawaii, Volume XXXIX, Number 4, Aoao 1. Mei 17, 1944.

University of Hawaii Lei Day Queen, 1936.

Hilo Girl Is Lei Queen At University

Flanked by her six retainers, Esther Waihee, of Hilo, first freshman ever chosen lei queen of the University of Hawaii, is shown as she appeared ruling over the university Lei Day pageant. The girls are left to right, Puamana Akana, Ellen Stewart, Mele Aiona, Miss Waihee, Carol Ross, Rosalind Phillips and Kaliko Burgess.

(Hoku o Hawaii, 5/13/1936, p. 1)

Hilo Girl Is Lei Queen At University

Ka Hoku o Hawaii, Volume XXXI, Number 3, Aoao 1. Mei 13, 1936.