Author Jermel-Lynn Quillopo wearing plumeria and purple orchid leis.
Flowers play such an essential part of the Hawaiian culture and having them strung together into a lei symbolizes a form of Aloha. Aloha translates into phrases such as “hello”, “goodbye”, “I love you” and “thank you.” The gesture of the Aloha spirit also comes in the form of presenting beautifully fragrant leis during occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations.
The phrase “May Day is Lei Day”, dates back to 1928 when local newspaper writer Don Blanding wrote an article suggesting there be a day dedicated to the tradition of lei giving. If you’re ever on the islands on May Day (May 1st ), you’ll see many draped in colorful and beautifully fragrant leis made from an assortment of flowers such as cigar flowers, orchids and tea leaf.
The original lei stands started during Hawaii’s Boat Days era, when worldwide visitors arrived in big cruise ships into the Aloha Tower Harbor. These visitors would be welcomed with grass skirt wearing hula dancers, beautiful ukulele medleys and greeted with a lei to wear; making the lei Hawaiiʻs international symbol of Aloha.
Photography by Getty Images
There’s no better way to experience the history, soul and charm of The Big Easy than at a festival. While Mardi Gras is the most popular and well-known festival in New Orleans, the celebrations don’t stop there. With more than 400,000 attendees each year, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, also known as Jazz Fest, is the city’s second most popular festival.
Taking place from April 25 to May 4 this spring at the Fair Grounds Race Course, this 10-day, 2 weekend festival celebrates the music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana with live music, authentic Louisiana cuisine and crafting. READ MORE
On April 22, more than 1 billion people in 192 countries around the world celebrate Earth Day. Since its first celebration in 1970, Earth Day has focused on increasing awareness and sustainability of the environment through a variety of educational programs, exhibits and events.
Each year, the Earth Day Network — an organization that works with more than 22,000 partners, including environmental advocates, educators and organizations to promote the environmental movement — coordinates Earth Day events with cities and countries around the world. READ MORE
Photography by Tribeca Film Festival
From April 16-27, the hip NYC neighborhood of Tribeca will welcome film fanatics from around the world for the 13th annual Tribeca Film Festival.
With more than 5,000 submissions from around the world, many of the films selected for this year’s festival will be showing for the first time as North American, international or world premieres. Starting at $9 for late-night or weekday matinee tickets, festival-goers will have the opportunity to be among the films’ first viewers. READ MORE
Photography By San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau
For more than a century, San Antonio has honored the heroes of the Alamo and Battle of San Jacinto with an annual parade and celebration. Now, one of the largest festivals in the US, Fiesta San Antonio welcomes almost 3.5 million people each year.
A fun, family-friendly event for all ages, this year’s Texas-sized Fiesta will take place April 10-27, and will offer 110 events such as concerts, parades, cook-offs and more. READ MORE
Photography by Getty
This April, thousands of free-spirited music lovers will flock to the California desert for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio.
The annual 2 weekend, 3-day festival will take place April 11-13 and 18-20. It will feature multiple stages for live music performances from more than 150 artists, and from every genre, including rock, hip-hop and electronic. This year’s headliners include OutKast, Muse and Arcade Fire, in addition to other popular artists such as Ellie Goulding, Pharrel Williams and Lana Del Rey. READ MORE
Photography by Reuters
Each year, in March and April, millions of people flock to Washington, DC, to experience the beauty of the National Cherry Blossom Festival when thousands of cherry blossom trees bloom along the Tidal Basin.
Today marks the average peak bloom date for the cherry blossom trees, and while the actual bloom date is difficult to predict, the National Park Service predicts that this spring’s peak bloom period is between April 8 and 12.
If you’re planning a visit, a stroll along the Tidal Basin is a must, but here are some other ways you can also celebrate the festival in the nation’s capital: READ MORE
Photography By Scarborough Renaissance Festival
For more than 30 years, Waxahachie, TX, located just south of Dallas, has been home to the Scarborough Renaissance Festival — a Renaissance-themed festival that will take place 8 consecutive weekends and Memorial Day Monday between April 5 and May 26 this spring.
Spread out across a 35-acre “village,” the festival’s 3 areas — Crown Meadow, Pecan Grove and Holly Field — offer a variety of attractions for attendees of all ages to experience the spirit of the Renaissance. READ MORE
Photography by Reuters
Today marks the 25th year of the Taiwan Lantern Festival, which is celebrated on the 15th day of the first lunar month, and marks the tail end of the celebration of the Chinese New Year. This year’s festival will take place in Zhongxing New Village, Nantou County – the second largest county in Taiwan.
The main theme for the festival is determined by the Chinese zodiac animal for the new year. This year’s lantern theme is representative of the Year of the Horse. The lantern – a 75-foot-tall “Prancing Horse” — will be lit up with more than 200,000 LED lights, and will be on display at the festival’s center stage, positioned facing Taiwan’s highest peak, Yushan, which means “Jade Mountain.”
Photography By catspyjamasnz, Flickr
Located in the Hawkes Bay region on the eastern coast of New Zealand, Napier is a popular destination that is chock-full of Art Deco buildings, shopping and events — so much so that its locals and tourists often refer to it as the “Art Deco Capital of the World.”
The city’s largest annual event, the TREMAINS Art Deco Weekend, will take place Feb. 19-23 this year and will include more than 200 events, various displays of 1920s and ’30s cars, trains and planes, and a Gatsby-inspired picnic. Festival-goers from all over the world will fill the streets dressed in era-appropriate attire to wine, dine, dance and celebrate all things Art Deco.