In celebration of May Day, join us for the next Sing-Along with Mele Fong series as we learn flower and lei songs on Thursday, May 4 from 10 a.m. – noon at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better. The program evokes the feeling of sing-along with Mitch Miller programs as the lyrics and ‘ukulele chords are projected on the large screen in front of room for everyone to follow. ‘Ukulele players are invited to bring instruments to play along. Lunch is optional. Call Kaunoa at 808-270-7308 to register for the program on Maui.
Listen to our recording of the hapa haole song “May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii” at http://ukulelemeleonmaui.com/images/fullaudio/MayDay.mp3 and then learn how to play it via private ‘ukulele lessons with me via private webcam lessons from the comfort of your home.
May 1st is also known as “May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii.” Invented in 1927, writer and poet Don Blanding wrote an article in the local paper suggesting that a holiday be created around the Hawaiian custom of making and wearing lei. Fellow writer Grace Tower Warren came up with the idea of a holiday on May 1st in conjunction with May Day. She is also responsible for the phrase “May Day is Lei Day.”
The first Lei Day was held on May 1, 1928 and everyone in Honolulu was encouraged to wear lei, and festivities were held downtown with hula, music, lei making demos and exhibits and contest.
Originally from Oklahoma, Don Blanding is also credited with inventing the custom of tossing your lei overboard when you sailed from Honolulu. If the lei came back to shore, it meant you would return.
For more about May Day in Hawaii, visit
For more information about my classes offered at Kaunoa Senior Center, click here.
Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele