What is the meaning of leis?

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Do the flowers used in leis have particular meaning? In otherwords, are certain flowers used for greetings, others for weddings, others for celebrations or luaus?

-- Patricia Hall (IRISHBELLE@webtv.net), January 15, 1999


Response to leis

Leis have symbolized peace, affection, mercy and protection. They are used for ceremonies, marriages, funerals, birthday wishes, promotions. Depending on the type of flower, fern, or vine and the amount of time required to make the lei, it can signify importance or prestige. Some common leis are Moanaloa or carnations for graduation, maile for men for weddings and pikake or pakalana for the women. Plumerias for graves. Plumerias, vandas, tuberose, and ti leaf are used for welcomes, good-byes, thank yous and congratulations. Lei prices can range from a couple of dollars to $75+ for beautiful hakus (leis for your head). Season also plays a part in price ;)

-- Roy Inouye (roy@bothi.com), January 15, 1999.

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