Upon arriving in Hawaii, visitors may be adorned with Hawaiian leis as a way to welcome them to the islands. The lei is also used as a symbol of affection. The types and colors of flowers used in a Hawaiian lei have specific meanings.
The orchid is the most common type of flower used to make leis. Orchids are used to say "welcome" or "thank you." Purple, green and white orchids are often used for this purpose. Ilima flowers, the official flower of Oahu, represent love. A lei made with Kukui nuts is used to show appreciation or respect. White, pink or red carnations are typically used in leis exchanged at weddings and anniversary celebrations. These flowers symbolize love.Learn more about Cultures & Traditions