A lei is the ultimate symbol of Aloha in Hawaii. Leis are given and worn on a variety of occasions including
weddings, birthdays, graduations and anniversaries.
Beginning in the late 1800’s, when steamships brought visitors to the islands, the beautiful Hawaiian wahine (women)
swam out to the ships to greet passengers colorful, fragrant leis of many different types of flowers.
People began to create legends about the lei. Some said the lei was lucky. The most popular legend was that upon leaving Hawaii to
return home to the mainland, if you tossed your lei overboard and it floated toward the beach, you would someday return to the Hawaiian islands.
In the 1800's when a steamship would leave the island, hundreds of leis thrown by tourists would be seen floating on the surface of the ocean.