By Vanessa Wolf
Although arguably less perceptible in our generally sunlit part of the world, there are two equinoxes every year – one in September and the other in March – when the sun shines directly on the equator and the length of day and night is nearly equal.
This weekend marks one of them, also known as the autumnal or fall equinox.
In a similar spirit of balance, it also brings International Peace Day and the Chinese Moon Festival.
Now you know.
Best Way to Get Amped Up for a Weekend of Running
This afternoon starting at noon, take in the Maui Marathon Health and Fitness Expo in the Valley Isle Ballroom at the Westin Maui Resort & Spa.
There will be product demonstrations from Whole Foods and entertainment provided by the likes of Alika Nakaoka, Richard Dancil, and Mele Pono until 6 p.m.
The expo is free and open to the public.
If you miss out today, take another run at it tomorrow from 9 a.m to 5 p.m.
Best Chance to Pig Out on Mooncakes
Also this afternoon, beginning at 1 p.m. is a celebration of the Chinese Moon Festival at the Wing Ho Museum in Lahaina.
According to organizers, “this event commemorates one of the most important Chinese holidays where the moon is most bright and full, indicating a time of satisfaction and abundance.”
Chef Gregory “Bonz” Heath is conducting cooking demonstrations, Fu Lin Restaurant is selling dim sum, and there will be cultural exhibits and hands-on activities – including Knot Tying by Brenda Wong – available for all ages to enjoy.
If you’ve never had the pleasure, the Museum’s Mandarin Market will be selling mooncakes, a Cantonese pastry usually filled with red bean paste and considered an indispensable part of the festival by the Chinese.
If you can’t make it today, the event continues on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Best Reasons to Get Up and Run On Saturday
As part of the 43rd annual Maui Marathon, there are more reasons to run this weekend than you can rub Icy Hot on.
The closest thing we have to an Elvis convention, this year’s Hard Rock Cafe 10K features a Rock & Roll Costume Contest. Dress up like your favorite rocker or make your own rocker style.
The fun – and sweating – starts at 6:30 a.m. sharp at Whaler’s Village.
A little too early and/or too much distance for you?
At 8 a.m., the Maui Go Red For Women Ambassador 5K Walk occurs in conjunction with the Maui Tacos 5K run. The former is billed as “a great opportunity raise awareness about the prevalence and severity of heart disease – the #1 killer of women.”
Participants will both start and finish at Whaler’s Village with the Maui Tacos 5K runners starting in front of the walkers for obvious reasons.
But that’s not all!
The 13th annual “Run Forrest Run” Front Street Mile starts at 3 p.m. for kids and goes from there up to “Olympic Development” level adults.
Have a fever that can only be cured with excess exercise? There is still time to register. Get more information and do so here.
Best Excuse to Eat Pig’s Feet
We’re just kidding.
If you’re of the ilk that eats pig’s feet, coming up with excuses to do so is the least of your concerns.
That stated, the Maui Okinawan Festival will take over the Maui Mall on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
This year’s theme is “Celebrating Our Uchinanchu Spirit.”
Event organizers promise you can “enjoy continuous Okinawan music and dance, as well as martial arts demonstration; visit the cultural display, country store, and enjoy lots of Okinawan food, including pig’s feet soup and andagi. Professional photo sessions in traditional Okinawan wear will be available for children and adults with all proceeds to benefit MOKK.”
If the pig’s feet intimidate you, the andagi – basically donuts – should make it all better.
The festival is free to the public.
Best Route to a Peaceful, Easy Feeling
In celebration and support of World Peace Day 2013, filmmaker Eric Saperston’s film “The Journey” will be screened at the MACC’s Castle Theater on Saturday night.
Saperston’s quest was based on the Chinese proverb “To know the road ahead, ask those coming back.”
His journey led him to ask a variety of individuals, “Who will you make peace with?” and then record their wisdom, inspirations and struggles.
International Peace Day is intended to help individuals start to make peace in their own lives, families and communities so that the movement to make peace will spread throughout our world.
There is pre-show entertainment at 6:30 p.m. with Maui Teens Sing for Peace and the film itself is at 7:30 p.m.
The event is free to the public.
Best Reasons to Get Up and Run on Sunday
Let’s face facts.
If you’re just finding out about Sunday’s Maui Marathon and half-marathon, maybe cheering on the runners is a better plan.
Regardless, the pavement pounding begins at 5:30 a.m. with the half-marathon beginning near the marathon’s finish line around Whaler’s Village.
For those of you actually going for it: happy running and leave it all on the race course.
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