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Join Honolulu Parks & Rec for the 96th Annual Lei Day Celebration!

Free event scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, May 1 at Kapi‘olani Park


The City and County of Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation's Annual Lei Day Celebration is held at the Kapi‘olani Park Bandstand on May 1st of each year, regardless of the day of the week. Following the celebration, fresh flower lei from the Lei Contest are taken to Mauna ‘Ala (The Royal Mausoleum) and Kawaiāha‘o Churche to be placed on the graves and tombs of Hawai‘i’s ali‘i (royalty). For an excellent history of the Lei Day, 
click here and experience nearly 100 years of celebrating lei in Hawai‘i nei!


Ahead of the 96th Lei Day Celebration on May 1, 2024, a series of free lei-making workshops are available at City parks around O‘ahu! 
Click here to view a list of these opportunities

Ho‘omaika‘i (Congratulations) to the 95th Lei Court!

In an amazing display of solidarity, the six candidates of the 2024 Lei Court decided before ’s the Lei Court Selection Event (Saturday, March 2, 2024) to include all of the candidates in the 2024 Lei Court. This creates four princess positions as part of this 95th Lei Court. Typically, the top three candidates from the selection event determine the Princess, First Princess, and Queen.
  • Queen Tehina Kaʻena Kahikina
  • First Princess Angela Jeanell Cezar Miranda
  • Princess Shailyn Makana Marie Wilson
  • Princess Madison Kamalei Espinas
  • Princess Sara Noʻeau Campbell
  • Princess Lulani Kaehulaniokekai Chung-Kuehu

Lei Queen Tehina is an ʻōlapa (dancer) of 
Ka Pā Hula o Kauanoe o Waʻahila who has been dancing with Kumu Maelia Loebenstein Carter for 16 years. A Punahou and UH Mānoa graduate, Tehina’s passion and education center around Hawaiian Studies and ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi. Well-versed in a variety of lei-making styles, her passion for lei has led her personal drive to understand more about harvesting protocols, environmental awareness of native and invasive species, and practicing mālama ‘āina. As she stated in her Lei Court application, “May we pick with intention and aloha and return our lei back to ʻāina.” From her youth spent mainly makai paddling and surfing, to her young adulthood focused more mauka, Tehina cherishes her time in Kuli‘ou‘ou and in Waikīkī, where she holds found memories of dancing hula and playing in the popular waters.

Lei Queen Tehina and her court now join the prestigious lineage of Hawaiian cultural practitioners represented by the Lei Court ‘Ohana. This 95th Le Court was determined during the selection event March 2, 2024 inside the historic Mission Memorial Auditorium and Honolulu Hale Courtyard. The event was a beautiful celebration of Native Hawaiian culture, hula, ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, and of course lei-making.

Mahalo to all of the fantastic participants and the jubilant spectators who attended the selection event, including previous Lei Court members: 2023 Queen Leilani Kūpahu-Marino Kahoʻāno, 2023 First Princess Melodie Lynn Leinaʻala Naluaʻi Vega, 2023 Princess Charlene Kapualani Kauhane Harano, 2022 Queen Natalie Brown Ah Quin, 2018 Queen Charlene Leimomi Irvine, 2017 Queen Perle Marie Puamōhala Kaholokula and many, many more Lei Queens and Princesses.

2024 Lei Queen Tehina and her court will preside over the 96th Annual Lei Day Celebration festivities, and will be the City’s Ambassadors of Aloha at a variety of public events.

The 96th Annual Lei Day Celebration will be held on Wednesday, May 1, 2024, at Kapi‘olani Park, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Along with Hawaiian entertainment, demonstrations, and exhibits, the celebration event will feature a lei contest exhibit showcasing some of the most exquisitely crafted lei in a variety of colors and methods.

The first Lei Day was celebrated on May 1, 1927 with a few people wearing lei in downtown Honolulu. Over time, more and more people began to wear lei on May 1, and thus began the tradition of “May Day is Lei Day in Hawai‘i.” The first lei Queen, Miss Nina Bowman, was crowned by Honolulu Mayor Charles Arnold in 1928. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, when large, in-person events were restricted, our island community found innovative ways to celebrate this uniquely Hawaiian holiday. This included a 
video presentation to mark Lei Day in 2021, and the Nā Lei Koa in 2020 to honor our first responders.
Themes based on voyaging proverbs in honor of Hōkūle‘a’s Moananuiākea journey

O‘AHU – Like a gardener tending their māla pua (flower garden) ahead of lei making, or the crew of a wa‘a (canoe) charting their course ahead of a voyage, the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) is pleased to announce the themes and featured flora for the next four Lei Day Celebrations!

Celebrated on first day of May, each annual Lei Day Celebration embraces a particular theme and coinciding flower or plant. In conjunction with the Hōkūle‘a’s Moananuiākea journey circumnavigating the Pacific Ocean, DPR has selected voyaging proverbs from 
Mary Kawena Pukui’s ‘Ōlelo No‘eau (Bishop Museum Press 1983) to guide the Lei Day Celebration themes from 2024-2027. They include:

•   2024 (96th Celebration)
Theme: Komo mai kāu māpuna hoe (1836)
Translation: Dip your paddle in (join in the effort)
Theme material: kī or ti (Cordyline fruticosa)
Lei Court: ʻŌpio (age 18 – 30)


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