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Celebrate the Year of the Monkey in Lahaina Feb. 12

Lion dancing in front of Wo Hing temple on Front Street. Photo by Amy Moore.

Lion dancing in front of Wo Hing temple on Front Street. Photo by Amy Moore.

Kung Hee Fat Choy! Lahaina Restoration Foundation, the Wo Hing Society and the LahainaTown Action Committee invite the public to the Wo Hing Museum on Friday, Feb. 12, 2016, for a full day of free activities and presentations paying tribute to Chinese New Year, the Year of the Monkey, during its annual, lunar new year festivities.

The museum will be open between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.

An exciting lion dance with drums, gongs and cymbals and the new year blessing by Au’s Shaolin Arts Society will begin at 5 p.m. by the entrance to the Wo Hing temple on Front Street.

Lai see envelopes will be passed out to feed the lions for good luck. After firecrackers are lit in the yard, the lions will parade down Front Street, stopping in shops and restaurants until 9 p.m.

The celebration at Wo Hing Museum and Cookhouse will feature a variety of free activities between 2 and 7 p.m.

Keiki craft making with Busaba Yip Douglas, by Kristin Sherwood.

Keiki craft making with Busaba Yip Douglas, by Kristin Sherwood.

Dr. Busaba Yip Douglas will present the story of Chinese New Year from 2 to 2:30 p.m. in the Cookhouse.

She will be followed by special guest Dennis Ryan, who will showcase his Song Dynasty tea bowls (1127-1279 CE). Chinese teas will be served in the garden from 5 to 7 p.m.; tea cookies will be sold at this time.

Dr. Douglas and Ryan will conduct a second presentation between 6 and 6:30 p.m.

A new addition this year comes from the Shaolin Kung Fu and Tai Chi School of Denver, Colorado. Third-degree black belt students Dennis and Anita Lunt, will present a talk on the Shaolin Kung Fu Legacy at 3 p.m. The Lunts, authors of 10,000 Steps Straight Up, will sign books for buyers. The couple has also documented the history, legends and folklore of Chinese martial arts in videos from their trips to China. They will demonstrate the Tai Chi Iron Fan form at 6:30 p.m.

Chinese calligraphy will be presented from 3 to 5 p.m.

Brenda Wong will share the art of Chinese knot tying until 6 p.m.

Hong Zhou will perform traditional music on the Erhu string instrument between 4 and 5 p.m.

Keiki can learn a Chinese craft from 4 to 6 p.m, and those interested in the divination arts can learn how Kau Chim works between 5 and 7 p.m.

In China, 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. This ninth year in the Chinese zodiac calendar is attributed to the monkey, and is said to be a year of ambition, activity and adventure.

For updates, call the Lahaina Restoration Foundation office at (808) 661-3262 or go online [1].