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Chinese New Year Celebration in Lahaina

February 7, 2018, 3:25 PM HST · Updated February 8, 6:07 AM
Nikki Schenfeld · 2 Comments
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Chinese New Year will be celebrated in Lahaina on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. Photo Courtesy Lahaina Restoration Foundation

Lahaina will celebrate the lunar new Year of the Dog with festivities for the whole family at the Wo Hing Museum and Cookhouse on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018.

The event, hosted by the Lahaina Restoration Foundation, will feature a full day of cultural art activities, lion dancing and historical presentations that pay tribute to Chinese New Year. The museum will be open between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. with free admission.

  • Lion dances with drums, gongs and cymbals will be performed in the museum yard at 858 Front Street.
  • The new year blessing by Au’s Shaolin Arts Society will begin at 5 p.m. by the entrance to the Wo Hing temple building.
  • Lai see envelopes will be handed out to feed the lions for good luck.
  • After firecrackers are lit in the yard, the lions will dance down Front Street, stopping in shops and restaurants.

The Chinese cultural celebration at Wo Hing Museum and Cookhouse features a variety of free activities between 2 and 8 p.m. To kick-off festivities, Dr. Busaba Yip will present the history of Chinese New Year and special guest, Dennis Ryan, a collector, will talk about ancient dogs made from pottery and the importance of charms, amulets and talismans to the Chinese for good luck, health, prosperity and protection. Busaba and Dennis will do a second presentation at 6 p.m.

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Kids will be able to make Year of the Dog paper lanterns in the museum yard from 6 to 8 p.m. Cultural activities for all ages include: Chinese calligraphy with Rev. Takayuki Meguro, the art of Chinese knot tying with Brenda Wong, and the skill of mahjong playing. Chef Bobby Santos will be cooking on a wok and offering samples of Cantonese specialties. Chinese dishes and desserts by Only ‘Ono BBQ will also be offered for sale.

In China, the Chinese New Year is not only the longest celebrated event but also the most important social holiday. The lunar new year begins on the second new moon following the winter solstice and ends two weeks later on the full moon. Today, the new year is a week-long public holiday so families can reunite and relax together, celebrating a year of hard work and offering wishes of good luck and prosperity in the coming year.

Nikki Schenfeld
Nikki joined the Maui Now team in 2016 as a writer/reporter. Originally from Chicago, she has had internships with CBS2 Chicago and Comcast SportsNet Chicago where she had the opportunity to interview some of Chicago's best athletes. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2010 with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism. She moved to Maui in 2013.

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