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    The meaning of "Aloha" — hawaiian traditions

    Graduation is the Perfect Occasion for a Kukui Nut Lei

    Graduation is the Perfect Occasion for a Kukui Nut Lei

    Graduation is upon us and with that comes the tradition of presenting the graduate with a lei.  A popular choice, especially for those living outside of Hawaii where shipping could be an issue, is the kukui nut lei.  The kukui or candlenut tree is also the state tree of Hawaii.
    The nuts come in black, brown, white and mixed variations called "marble" and "tiger".   Many are strung in one color, but you can also find them mixed and sometimes colored or decorated with painted flowers or honu (turtles).  Some also come with shells and seeds strung in between the kukui nuts.  With time this lei will become even more beautiful than when you first receive it.
    In ancient times, kukui nuts were most commonly used for light.  When they were strung and lit, they resembled a candle, which is how the tree got the name "kukui", which means light or lamp in Hawaiian.  In English, it became known as the candlenut tree.
     At one time, because they were rare and mainly only royalty wore kukui nut leis.  However today they are affordable and easily acquired, so you will find them around the necks of many tourists and locals alike. If you have a special occasion coming up, these beautiful leis are the perfect accessory.