On the Hawaiian islands, giving a lei at graduation is a long-standing tradition. This lovely custom has now spread past the islands and into many other parts of the world. By giving a lei to a graduate, you become a part of this fun and festive tradition that is fun for both the giver and the recipient. Giving a graduation lei is a loving way to show a graduate how much you support, admire and care for them. And for the graduate, it’s fun for everyone around them to see how many people loved them enough to bestow a lei on them!
At Hawaiian graduations, the graduates often receive so many leis from friends and family members that they can barely see over all of the garlands around their necks. If you want your graduate to have a more simple lei gift, just one or two of these garlands around his or her neck is a fun way to add some special Hawaiian tradition to graduation day. You can choose a graduation lei that reflects the school’s colors to celebrate both the graduate and the time the graduate spent at his or her school.
This symbol of luck and love can also be in virtually any other colors. Some graduates want a graduation lei that uses traditional Hawaiian materials, like Hawaiian flowers, for a lei that is an authentic part of the islands. When the graduate has a connection to Hawaii, a graduation lei is a meaningful symbol of that connection. For a graduate who visited the islands and wanted to be a part of its beauty and tradition, a graduation lei is a great way to keep that island connection. For some graduates, they may never have visited Hawaii before, but they dream of one day visiting the islands, and their graduation leis are a way to be more connected to Hawaii.
Graduation Lei Types
Many types of leis work well as graduation leis. Flower leis are a beautiful gift for a graduate, but there are also many other types that will be eagerly received by a graduate. One fun tradition is the graduation money lei. This lei uses paper money twisted into floral shapes instead of the traditional flowers and leaves used in most other leis. There are also candy leis that use candy in place of flowers and leaves.
Female graduates generally prefer floral leis for graduation, and many male graduates do as well. However, there are many male graduates who prefer more masculine leis. One traditionally masculine lei in Hawaii is the maile lei. It uses greenery to create a beautiful, decorative lei that is non-floral. The ti leaf lei is another alternative to floral leis. It is made from greenery native to Hawaii, and it also smells great. The kukui nut lei is another graduation alternative that is worn for its long-lasting materials and its unisex nature.
Giving the Gift of a Graduation Lei
One way to present a graduate with a graduation lei is to wait until the graduate is in the school’s robes and then to place the lei over his or her head to add a loving gift to the outfit. It is a way to congratulate the graduate and to show that you care. However, the school may have rules about when a graduation lei can be bestowed. Some rules state that the lei must be presented after the graduation ceremony is over. No matter when it is given, the gift of a graduation lei is a wish for good luck as well as to show the graduate how much they are loved and appreciated.