SAN DIEGO — Did you know there is meaning behind what ear a flower is placed on in the Hawaiian culture? Just like rings on the mainland, if you wear a flower behind your left ear, it means you are married, taken, have a significant other, or maybe you just don't want anyone bothering you. If you wear a flower behind your right ear, it means you are single, available, and approachable.
When it comes to lei’s there are very few “rules.” Anyone can wear one, anytime - there doesn't need to be a specific occasion. It is perfectly fine for one to purchase or make a lei for themselves. It is common for locals to have a nut, seed or shell lei on hand to wear on special occasions.
There are, however, a couple of "unspoken rules" one should know when receiving a lei for the first time. A lei should be a welcomed celebration of one person's affection for another. Therefore, always accept a lei, never refuse. The proper way to wear a lei is gently draped over the shoulders, hanging down both in front and in back. It is considered rude to remove a lei from your neck in the presence of the person who gave it to you, so if you must, be discreet.
Purchase your perfect lei, here. Each purchase of a lei helps fund scholarships for Polynesian youth!