Every raver knows what they are - colorful beaded bracelets hoisted high in the sky sending the message of Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect. Not many people know, however, the backstory of Kandi. Back in the 90’s, drug dealers would wear sleeves of neon beads at raves as a signal for their buyers. It was purely a marketing strategy - and a good one at that.
To the parents who have stumbled across this blog because your kids wear these all the time, don’t worry - Kandi does not have the negative connotation it once had. What started out as a signal for dealers to connect with their customers at a rave has now turned into a symbol of positivity amongst the raving community.
Each Kandi is one of a kind - usually containing a message like “peace” or “love” or whatever the creator wants to say. It could be a phrase of hope or happiness. Whatever it is, it is then traded (or sometimes given away to someone who does not have any Kandi yet) for another’s Kandi. The ritual handshake starts with 2 hands drawn together by a peace sign, then the two make a heart, then put their palms together, and then squeeze each other's hand. The four symbols represent PLUR - peace, love, unity, and respect. PLUR is embodied by the messages on Kandis and is the foundation of the EDM community
Ravers all over the world trade Kandi, whether it be bracelets, arm cuffs or intricate masks, these homemade trinkets are a great way to connect with new friends and maintain memories from festivals. Don't have any yet? Fear not! If you've downloaded the E.S app and come visit our booth at our next local festival (Creamfields HK anyone?), we'll have exclusive, customizable kandi for all ES Soulmates! Follow us on IG & FB to stay up to date to score some free kandi! :D