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Learn more about this year’s Lei Day celebration in the episode resources.

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Bryan Murphy 0:00

Hello and welcome to another episode of Hawaii's best. I'm your host Brian Murphy and welcome to a special Aloha Friday episode. Today I am joined with our unofficial cultural practitioner Ka nui, solitario. How is it going, man? How is

Kahanuola Solatorio 0:17

always great, longtime no see and chat. But I know Yeah, things are starting to open up a little bit more, a lot more actually seeing more tourists come back and more, you know, families that had to move away, they get to come back and visit their home and their families. So yeah, all is good here.

Bryan Murphy 0:35

I think a lot of people didn't maybe think about that or don't realize that, you know, if someone's planning a trip to Hawaii, you don't realize that yeah, there's there's families that live in Hawaii, and they haven't been able to see their relatives or loved ones in quite a while. Yeah,

Kahanuola Solatorio 0:48

yeah. So then you have, I mean, every plane that I took coming back from either California or Vegas, it was all for you can see there was a good majority of tourists, the majority of locals that moved away, and then people coming back from vacation, but Right, yeah, it's it's good to see. I mean, we've definitely had two years of rejuvenation of the of the land and of the oceans without that impact of tourism. But yeah, I think it's good to see Waikiki alive again and see tourists here. Um, a lot of them are being more responsible when they come to Hawaii because they're pretty much people are calling tourists out on social media and everything. Yeah.

Bryan Murphy 1:34

Right. And hopefully this is a resource for someone who's planning a trip can take into account some of the things just to be aware of traveling into culture and kind of what to do what not to do. But what about you, you know, things are opening up and you'll see a lot more visitors and Waikiki is back to normal ish. How is that playing and gigging around the different spots? Have you been able to do that again?

Kahanuola Solatorio 1:59

Yeah, we went back to we play it. Oh, Lonnie, me and my bandmates next. Nicholas LOM every Wednesday. So we were there since November of last year, which is pretty good. I mean, it was been very good. We're still waiting for Japan to open up. So once that opens up, we'll probably see it back to normal like, pre pandemic. But yeah, I think it's cool to see. And then even us, we're getting more gigs, more great gig inquiries, all that good stuff. So that's been good,

Bryan Murphy 2:31

good. Well, it's good to connect again and see and totally, but today, we're talking about Mayday, which is Lady in Hawaii. And that's happening. If you're listening to this, it's today is the 29th of April and Sunday is May 1 Lady. Yeah. What is Labor Day, all about? Why is it celebrated maybe a little history behind behind the day,

Kahanuola Solatorio 2:57

just starting us off the first May Day, Our Lady was held in a 1928. Les has been very synonymous with Hawaii and Hawaiian culture. Back in the boat these people would sell lays at the Harbors to the tourists that would come in I'm sure at that time, it was like 10 cents or something. But every time someone thinks about Hawaii, they think about lay, whether it be kukui nut lay or fresh flower lay, or the fake, you know, plastic flower lay that people like to wear with their grass skirts. It's a part of our culture, and it's a part of our islands. But for me like, yeah, there's a touristy side to it, but it also shows our connection to the land. It shows our aloha aina our love for the land because we use the resources that are given to us to create adornments that we love to wear. We love to show off. So yeah, I think ley de is all about that celebrating our Aina celebrating our, our profesh flowers, our resources that were given because of this line,

Bryan Murphy 4:01

and what are some ways and how it's celebrated. Yeah, so obviously the Making and Giving them legs but yeah, it's funny

Kahanuola Solatorio 4:09

because as much as people want to wear lace everyday, they're pretty expensive. You know, they're pretty pricey. So on this day, everyone, you know, where's the best more and more the wrestler where they either make their own way to wear or they give away the bilayer the very best lace and then other ways that we celebrate it, a lot of schools they actually have made celebrations, whether it's actually on May Day, on May 1 or around that week or whatnot. So a lot of celebrations apply music of storytelling hula Of course, that's all big components of lady in our Hawaiian culture. And you see it like every school on that day. They're all having celebrations. You know, parents come to watch their kids perform Get The Shot of their child dancing Hula for their first time probably. Yeah. And then there's a lot of, you know, other concerts around the islands that celebrate me. They just want music, good food, hula, all that jazz.

Bryan Murphy 5:13

So across the islands, are their unique celebrations that outer islands kind of celebrate in their own unique way or is it pretty much cohesive?

Kahanuola Solatorio 5:21

Yeah, it's pretty cohesive. I know. Every year, they usually have lay contest on every island or at least the main four islands, Oahu, Kauai, Maui, and then one in Hilo one in corner, but they have Lake contests. So the one in Oahu is usually held at Kapiolani bandstand. And it's a good way for if tourists you know, they want to come and look at beautiful layer. They can go step by I think it's a free event. Anyone can just come and of course music and hula, and also for Wahoo. Specifically, not sure what the other islands but they have a lady court, there's always going to be a Lady Queen. And then two, I guess, ladies and waiting that they're the court for that year. And this is held in February, the selection for that day. They're the honorary lady court for Hawaii. So yeah, I think it starts in the morning at nine. But it goes all the way till like five 530. Okay, people have late demonstrations. They have, of course, the lay contest. There's a few different styles of labor that people use. The first one is Haku, Haku. Lei, which a lot of people are getting confused with, they think that the Haku Lei is the one they wear a crown crown. But that's, that would be called a Les Paul lay. And then Paul is the head. So the hackle is something that they weave together. And they breed in all the different materials that they you know, they want to create how cool means to create or to make so,

Bryan Murphy 6:55

and I think it's kind of without saying this year is probably a little bit more special. Because there's a lot more in person celebration. Yeah, yeah,

Kahanuola Solatorio 7:05

yeah. And I think the past year, two years, we had to do a lot of virtual concerts and virtual hula, but now everything's opening up a little bit more. So I know three main big concerts that are going on this year. One is with Kalani Petter and that's going to be at koi theatre. He just won his third Grammy for his, his third album. Yeah, so another awesome night a full on music. One is with Halawa COVID Q at the Waikiki shell, their annual hula concert performance. So again, a lot of hula and music and then the one that we're putting on with my band kill hole. My other two bandmates ZACHARY And Nicholas LOM, we're putting that with Colleen Lola at the Bishop Museum. It's not an in person event, there's going to be like a small audience. But if you want to tune in, you can watch it on KTMB if you're in Hawaii, CHANNEL SEVEN, or we're going to stream it online on other platforms, you know, Facebook and stuff. So I think that's going to be great. We have a lot of local Hawaiian artists. I know Nicole Nyla Come on. They cover um, Mundo Boyd. And then, of course, Robert casimero, who has been very, you know, when you think about Mayday you think about his concert with the brothers cousin mero. Um, that was went on for 25 plus years at the Waikiki shell. So yeah, we have hellos coming in about the theme of the show, we're honoring water, we're honoring the importance of water all equal by water gives life to everyone. Now, we're just coming off of the Red Hill water crisis that was going on. So we really want to pay homage to Viy pay, respects and honor our water sources that we have freshwater sources. So yeah,

Bryan Murphy 8:54

that and your band has been involved in celebration for quite a few years. Yeah.

Kahanuola Solatorio 9:01

Yeah. So this is our fourth year, putting on a mayday celebration. The first year was in person, right before pandemic that was a big one at the convention center. Then we had our second and third years were on virtual so we had a TV performance and online and stuff. And then this one we're both in person and live stream on TV and the internet. So awesome. Yeah, it's it's kind of cool to be back in person, but also share our concert with the world pretty much. Yeah, yeah. So if you're, you know, in Hawaii, if you're on the continent, or in another country, even please tune in. You can find it on our website or our Facebook kill band. And also you can go to Hawaii news now and tune in there, but hopefully you guys can all celebrate maybe with us from your own home.

Bryan Murphy 9:53

Okay, awesome. We will definitely link all that in the show notes. You can also go to Really any one of our Instagram pages and easily find the links to be able to view if you're not on island right now if you are on island definitely consider some of these celebrations over you know over this weekend continuity before we say goodbye anything else you'd love to share?

Kahanuola Solatorio 10:18

Yeah how about one of the songs that are you know Famous from

Bryan Murphy 10:23

oh come on

Kahanuola Solatorio 10:24

I mean gotta yeah

Bryan Murphy 10:25

you gotta do it

Kahanuola Solatorio 10:27

you know and just sing along and maybe dance dance if you want to.

Unknown Speaker 10:32

Me days lady in Hawaii, God garlands of flowers everywhere. All of the colors in the rainbow maidens with blossoms in their hair. Flowers that mean we should be happy. Throwing outside of load of Oh, may days lady in Hawaii may days happy days out.

Kahanuola Solatorio 11:10

Happy May Day everyone Aloha

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Bryan Murphy
Bryan Murphy

Bryan Murphy, owner of Hawaii’s Best Travel, is a certified Hawaii destination expert from the Hawaii Visitors Bureau. He actively participates in the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau as a member and has a strong educational background focused on local culture and sustainability. As the host of “Hawaii’s Best Travel,” a top-30 US travel podcast, Bryan combines his years of experience with valuable insights. He connects with a broad online community, reaching nearly half a million people, and offers a richer, more responsible way to experience Hawaii.