Lei are usually given for birthdays, holidays, special events, congratulations, and even just because. However, the absolute best time for leis is... graduation time, right around May and June. I've seen pictures of graduations on the mainland where students may have one or two purple orchid lei, and let me tell you... its kinda sad (haha, I'm rubbing it in!) Orchid leis are usually considered cheap and tacky (I hate to say it but this lei is mostly associated with tourists); if you get that type of lei from someone you might think a number of things
- the person who bought it for me ran out of time/forgot and had to get it last minute from Wal-Mart (yep, Wal-mart sells orchid lei's; so does 7-11 sometimes!)
- I must owe them money
Although orchid leis are given, they are usually triply supplemented by all different kinds of lei, ones that actually smell good and made from flowers that are NOT orchids (such as ginger, tuberose, plumeria, pakalana, puakenikeni, rose bud, ohi`a, etc). Actually, these types of flowers wouldn't ship very well, so maybe that's why you can only find them in places like Hawai`i (We're so lucky!). There are also lei that are made from leaves, vines and berries such as the maile lei (fragrant vine), ti leaf (twisted to look like rope) and mokihana (rare, sometimes substituted with sea grape berries). And that is how it is at all graduations here in Hawaii ;) I'd show you a picture of me with my lei but it is seriously buried deep, deep within my closet under piles of other pictures, clothes and an old ironing board.
Anyway, I thought I'd share this candy lei with you because I BET you guys can make one too, even if you don't have flowers, wherever you are. All you need is a length of poly tubing or netting (maybe cellophane? I'm sure a bunch of stuff will work), some individually packaged colorful candy, and curling ribbon.
Tubing... I got the 2" wide one. You should plan on using about 3.5 ft or 105 cm, which will give you enough room to adjust length if you have a tall or short person.
Sigh... this candy is too expensive; it's imported from Japan and is really popular
Perfect! Some gummy strawberries, gum, and hard candy!
These are Japanese glass candies, popular for Girl's Day, also called Tutti Frutti candies.
To make the lei, just slip the candy in the tubing and tie of each section using the curling ribbon. Curl the ribbon after you have achieved the desired length and put the two ends of your lei together.