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Hawaiian culture is rich with beautiful traditions, and easy to celebrate.
• Made with flowers or leaves and worn around the neck or head.
• Other materials used are shells, seeds, nuts, feathers and sometimes bone.
• There is no gender specificity—men love flowers too!
• Not to be discarded in the trash, but returned to nature minus the string and ribbon.
• Pregnant women should wear an open lei, an ancient superstition still practiced today.
• Considered impolite and rude to refuse a lei.
• Anciently only practiced by men.
• Forbidden by the missionaries in the 1800s.
• Modern hula added string instruments – ukulele (Portuguese in origin), slack-key guitar, bass and steel guitar.
• Hapa haole music is the blending of Hawaiian and English words with a Hawaiian melody.
• Besides taking place in a backyard, beach or park, luau are also held for graduations and wedding receptions.
• Local families still celebrate baby luau when a child turns one. Ancient Hawaii had a high infant mortality rate, and if baby made it to one, it was cause for celebration.
• Commercial luau is what visitors know as a blend of Polynesian dances, Hawaiian games and crafts, cultural exhibits, as well as a buffet style feast and a mai tai.