Learn How to Make Your Own Lei Po‘o for Lei Day

May Day is Lei Day in Hawai‘i. Find out how to make a lei po‘o, also known as a haku lei, with tips from the team at Paiko and flowers from Cindy’s Lei and Flower Shoppe.



Since 1928, May Day has been affectionately celebrated as Lei Day in Hawaiʻi.


As the popularity of steamship travel to the Islands took off in the 1920s, lei stands became a growing presence near the downtown hotels and piers. This colorful welcoming inspired local poet Don Blanding and a Honolulu Star-Bulletin columnist to coin May Day as Lei Day in Hawaiʻi to celebrate the vibrant tradition of lei making.


With the lei po‘o or haku lei (a Hawaiian-style flower crown) becoming today’s boho-chic statement piece, the variations of the haku have expanded from a traditional ti leaf lei to those thick with colorful plumeria, ginger and orchids.


At Kakaʻako’s botanical boutique, Paiko, and Chinatown’s go-to lei spot, Cindy’s Lei and Flower Shoppe, we had the chance to learn and gather from the best in Honolulu.


To learn how to make a haku lei, watch the video above.


SEE ALSO: Local Artist Spotlight: Paiko Founder Tamara Rigney


Paiko, 675 Auahi St., (808) 988-2165, paikohawaii.com

Cindy’s Lei and Flower Shoppe, 1034 Maunakea St., (808) 536-6538, cindysleishoppe.com

Puʻu ʻUalakaʻa State Wayside, 2760 Roundtop Drive


Shoot Credits

Direction and Editing: Marisa Hartzell

Photography and Videography: Aaron K. Yoshino

Additional Video: Katie Kenny