Maui Welcomes Year of the Dragon

January 28, 2012, 3:49 PM HST · Updated January 29, 6:42 AM
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By Susan Halas

keiki winner

Nayshelle Dumaran, 5, of Kahului won first place for her traditional Chinese costume. Susan Halas photo.

The Maui Mall was packed with revelers today, celebrating the Chinese New Year. Though the Year of the Dragon officially began on Monday, January 23 most local families waited until the weekend to observe the annual event.

Dragons were everywhere in the form of puppets, calendars, t-shirts and signs.

Food, jewelry, plants, souvenirs, toys and noisemakers were plentiful. The mall went all out, hosting a full schedule of events from morning to afternoon. Its public areas were filled with people of all ages and nationalities, many in traditional attire, enjoying the event. Especially charming were youngsters dressed in Chinese costume.

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The weather was fine and spirits were high as the Wah Ngai Lion Dancers, a troupe of thirteen dancers and musicians visiting from Oahu, took the stage midday. The group was one of several to entertain.

A Chinese fried rice cook off was also part of the festivities. Winners were Marvin Shim 1st, Nathan Lau 2nd and Ted Holmes 3rd.

1st prize fried rice

Marvin Shim’s fried rice took first place in the cooking contest. Susan Halas photo

Two different photo oriented events helped mark the day.

Photos by Irvin took free pictures of youngsters, families and even a dog or two in a Chinese setting.

A historic photo exhibit highlighting Maui’s Chinese past (including the island’s connection with Chinese patriot Sun Yat Sen) was a memorable display.

The dragon occupies the fifth position in the Chinese zodiac and is considered by many to be the mightiest of all astrological signs, signifying success and good luck.

dog dragon

Nico, a miniature schnauzer owned by Shiho Sigematsu of Kahuli went Chinese for the occasion and had her photo snapped by Irvin at the Maui Mall. Susan Halas photo.

dragon

The Wah Ngai Lion Dancers, visiting from Oahu, entertained the crowd. Susan Halas photo.

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