Graduation Leis – How to Be Part of a Hawaiian Tradition

5 min read

Not many flower arrangements are dedicated to celebrating graduations. Although this event is a special moment that deserves all of the bells and whistles, graduation flowers are often overlooked. This is why the Hawaiian custom of giving leis to graduates deserves plenty of attention, but also because this custom has spread in many other parts of the world, not only on the islands. Let’s find out more about graduation leis and why they are worth our interest:

* What Is A Graduation Lei?
* Is Any Lei Suitable for This Occasion?
* Common Types of Graduation Leis
* Different Lei Sizes and Storage Instructions

What Is A Graduation Lei?

The graduation lei is a part of a Hawaiian custom in which it is offered at a graduation ceremony. It has a long history, but it is now common in other parts of the world, too. Offering graduation lei is a beautiful way of showing your admiration, support, and love to the graduate, and it can show them how much they mean to you!

The leis can also be offered to someone if you know they have a special affection for the Hawaiian culture, or if they dream of visiting Hawaii one day. When the graduate receives this gift, it is customary to bow their head and place the beautiful flowers around their neck. Some people also conclude this ceremony with a kiss on the cheek.

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Offering a graduation lei to someone means that you wish them good luck in the next chapter of their life. It is also a symbol of good fortune, but it can also be used as a fashion accessory since graduation leis look elegant when matched with the standard graduate robes.

Is Any Lei Suitable for This Occasion?

Just like any flower, there are different types of lei to consider. When you buy one, you need to consider a few aspects. A graduation lei can be made with different flowers and colors, but one standard is that all of them are typically made with natural blooms. One popular choice might be a lei made with fresh orchids since they are fresh, beautiful, and delicate.

Graduation lei can be given to both female and male graduates. This means that you need to consider different factors when choosing a lei. For girls, it is best to select delicate leis with an attractive scent. For men, there are classic choices such as cigar or leaf leis. The cigar leis contain numerous little tube-shaped flowers, and they are called cigar leis because the yellow and orange flowers resemble lit cigars. Cigar leis are also common gifts on Father’s Day or given to athletes.

On a similar note, the leaf lei is extremely popular in Hawaii, and it can also be given to the groom on the wedding day. It has a minimalist design, and it is not as showy as more feminine leis.

Common Types of Graduation Leis

As briefly mentioned above, numerous types of graduation leis can be offered to both feminine and male graduates. In the US, orchid leis are amongst the most common types, so that they often become out of stock in the months before graduation. An orchid lei can be any color from cream to lavender. The most popular color is purple, then it comes white, followed by green.

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Rose leis are also quite common, especially with yellow flowers. They are typically given to girls because they symbolize femininity and have a delicate fragrance. Another choice would be carnation leis, mainly because they come with a large variety of colors. You can choose carnation leis in shades that resemble the school’s colors; this is an important consideration when buying a lei for a graduate.

For girls, you may also choose a fragrant lei. They come with a wide array of aromas; such examples include a tuberose lei that smells similar to gardenia. In a white design, this can be an intricate, delicate choice for your daughter on her graduation.

If you want to buy a graduation lei for a man, there are also quite a few options. Most of them are made of maile vine, and this is a popular option for grooms when attending their Hawaiian weddings. Similarly, you can choose a cigar lei that is made of orange flowers resembling a lit cigar. This is a masculine lei that symbolizes good fortune and is said to bring good luck for his future goals.

Different Lei Sizes and Storage Instructions

Leis are usually available in different sizes. This only depends on how much you want the graduation lei to stand out; for instance, girls might prefer a more attractive one, while smaller, conservative ones are ideal for men. Usually, lei come in sizes that range between 30 and 40 inches long.

Regarding how to store your graduation lei, it is essential to acknowledge that many leis are quite long-lasting, and they can remain fresh for a long time, even after graduation day. If you prefer to order it a few days before, you can refrigerate it to keep it fresh until the celebration day. However, make sure you do not freeze the lei, as this can damage the flowers.

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If possible, it is best to order your graduation lei to come as close to the special day as possible. If you want to keep it longer, you can choose to dry it. Instructions on how to dry fresh flowers depend on what type of flowers you choose for your graduation leis.

In conclusion, graduation leis are not only a Hawaiian tradition anymore. They are beautiful decorations that symbolize good fortune and good luck. Apart from being great graduation gifts, leis can be offered on plenty of other occasions, such as parties, weddings, and Father’s Day. Make sure you choose a model that suits your needs best.

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