The Hawaiian custom of giving a lei to a graduate at the graduation ceremony has long been a tradition on the islands. However, this tradition has spread past the Pacific and into many corners of the world. Getting in on the fun and festivity that come from bestowing a lei on a graduate is for anyone who wants to add to the graduate’s special day. Graduation leis are a great way to show your love, support and admiration for the graduate. And, it doesn’t hurt that everyone who sees the graduate gets to see how much they are loved!
In Hawaii, many graduates receive so many leis for graduation that they may have trouble seeing over all of the flowers around them. If you want to keep your graduate’s lei gift more simple, one or two leis around the graduate’s neck are fun and make the day even more special. Some people choose graduation leis in the school’s colors to make the lei a celebration of the graduate’s education and the time spent at the school as well as being a symbol of good luck and love.
Many graduates want a lei that is an authentic part of Hawaii with a lei that has been created with Hawaiian flowers or that uses materials that are traditional for the Hawaiian lei. For those with a connection to Hawaii, having a lei at graduation is a meaningful part of their connection. For those who visited and fell in love with the beauty of its flora and fauna, it’s a great way to stay connected to the islands. For those who simply dream of visiting the islands some day, it’s a way of being more connected with the beauty and traditions of the islands.
The Many Types of Graduation Leis
Graduation flower leis are one beautiful way to celebrate a graduation, but there are many other types of leis that are traditional for celebrating the day. The graduation money lei is a fun tradition that creates the look of a classic flower lei but uses paper money instead of flowers or leaves. Another fun tradition is the candy lei. With graduation candy leis, the candy stands in for the flowers and leaves.
While female graduates, and many male graduates, prefer a floral lei when they graduate, there are many graduates who want specific graduation leis for guys. A masculine-looking lei that is also a traditional Hawaiian lei is the maile lei. This type of lei uses greenery to create a non-floral lei that is just as decorative as flowers. Another alternative is the ti leaf lei. This type of lei smells great but is also made from greenery that can be found in Hawaii. Another type of lei that can be worn for graduation is the kukui nut lei. These are long lasting and can be worn by either gender.
Giving a Graduation Lei
Placing a graduation lei over the graduate’s head once he or she is already in the graduation robes is a great way to add something special to the outfit. The gift of the lei is a way of congratulating the graduate and letting them know how much you care. Depending on the rules of the graduation ceremony, the graduation lei may need to be presented to the graduate after the ceremony is completed. The gift of the lei will wish the graduate good luck on all future endeavors and show them how loved and appreciated they are.
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