By Billy Hammond (Copyright AELS)

While May Day in Japan is associated with labor unions, in Hawaii it is a day of celebration and wearing leis.

 

Every child in Hawaii knows the song, “May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii.” and elementary schools throughout the state hold celebrations where a May Day King and Queen and their court as well as princesses and princes from the major islands are chosen and reign on a stage decorated with flowers and ti leaves. Of course, all of the children wear leis on that day at one time or another. Parents, grandparents and friends provide an enthusiastic audience that gives the event an even more festive atmosphere.

 

In my day, each class presented something with a cultural theme and the children danced (including the hula) as part of the ceremonies. I still remember my seventh grade year when our class was called on to produce something with a Japanese theme. I borrowed my uncle’s yukata and recall that we sang “Sukiyaki“, better known in Japan as “Ue wo muite arukou.

 

One of the big events of May Day was dancing around a Maypole, which was a pole with colorful streamers attached to the top. Each child would take a streamer and weave in and out to eventually form a multi-colored weave on the pole.

 

Even today, Hawaiian schools continue the tradition of May Day, which is said to date back to 1928.

 

ハワイのメー・デー

日本のメー・デーは労働や労働組合と関連されているが、ハワイでは首に掛けるレイを祝う日になっている。

 

ハワイ州の子供達全員は“May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii” (ハワイではメー・デーはレイの日)の歌を知っている。全州の小学校ではティの葉っぱや花飾りの舞台上に生徒達から選ばれた国王・女王や各島からの王子・王女や廷臣が祭りを見守る。勿論、子供達はその日にレイを掛ける。両親・親戚・友人などが観客として参加するのでお祭りの雰囲気が増される。

 

小・中・高学校時代の校内のメー・デー祭りでは各学年はハワイの文化的なテーマのプレゼンテーションを披露した。特によく覚えているのは中1のときにおじさんんの浴衣を着て、クラスで「スキヤキ」(上を向いて歩こう)を歌ったプレゼンテーション。

 

当時のメー・デーのメイン・イベントはメイポール(5月柱)の周りの踊りだった。柱の上から様々な色の幅広いリボンが吊るされ、子供達がそれぞれ一本を持って踊って周りながら柱に色鮮やかの網模様を作る行事だった。

 

今年の2019年にもハワイの小学校では1928年から始まったメー・デーをきっと続けて祝って行く。

By Billy Hammond (Copyright A.E.L.S)

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English books by Billy Hammond published by AELS

(AELS出版英語書籍リスト)

 

I. Majoh Gakuin and Hikari Juku – Japanese Witch Schools Trilogy

1. Majoh Gakuin & Hikari Juku – Japanese Witch Schools

2. Lost Witch (The second book)

3. Fate & Magic (The final book in the trilogy)

II. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire Trilogy

1. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire

2. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire – Returns

3. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire – Challenges (The final book in the trilogy)

III. Fantasy fiction set in Japan

1. 21st Century Ninja

2. Regressed

3. Japanese Woman

IV. Fantasy fiction set outside of Japan

1. Dimension Jumpers

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