Maui Arts & Entertainment

Sun Yat-sen Chinese Heritage Festival, Nov. 10

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Sun Yat-sen Festival, Wo Hing temple. PC: Lahaina Restoration Foundation

This year’s celebration of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, recognized as the Father of Modern China, will also pay tribute to Lahaina’s Chinese families during the Sun Yat-sen Chinese Heritage Festival on Friday, Nov. 10, from 5 to 9 p.m.

The Lahaina Restoration Foundation and Wo Hing Society will present an array of cultural, art and musical activities at Wo Hing Museum and Cookhouse in Lahaina. The museum will open at 10 a.m., offering free admission all day.

Chinese Heritage Festival Activities

  • Special guest Barbara Chung Ho of the University of Hawai‘i Mānoa Outreach College will present a workshop on paper cutting, a folk art of China, from 5 to 8 p.m.
  • Students from the Maui Academy of Performing Arts’ Summer Musical Theatre group will perform fan, ribbon and umbrella dances from the Disney musical, Mulan Jr. at 6:30 p.m.
  • Between 5 and 9 p.m., activities for the family will include Chinese calligraphy demonstrated by Reverend Takayuki of Lahaina Shingon Mission and knot tying with expert, Brenda Wong
  • Chinese acupressure massage from Toi Suchitra Srijantara
  • Maui Jade Traders will also be on-hand displaying and selling jade products

Festival-goers will be treated to presentations by Wo Hing Museum Cultural Director Busaba Yip, which will weave the story of Sun Yat-sen and his brother Sun Mei, who came to Maui during the plantation era, together with stories from the Wo Hing Society and Lahaina’s Chinese families.

Guest presenters include Robert Santos, a Ching family member, who will discuss the business that his family operated across the street from the Wo Hing Temple, and Carolyn Kam, who will show photos from her family’s Hop Wo Store on Front Street, famous for its Hop Wo bread. Presentations are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Traditional Chinese music will be performed by Hong Zhou on the bamboo flute and erhu string instrument.


Attendees will be able to sit in the garden and dine on Chinese food provided by Only Ono BBQ.
There will also be packages of crack seed snacks, such as li hing mui, lemon, ginger, olive and plum, sold for $1-$4 per bag with a Hop Wo Store label on them. Sales proceeds will be donated by Wo Hing Society back to the event.

Starting Monday, Nov. 6, visitors can learn about the life of Dr. Sun Yat-sen and his connection to Maui in an educational exhibit and film tribute, as well as view displays on the Wo Hing Society’s temple and social hall through Nov. 10. Admission will be free.

The festival is part of November’s Lahaina Second Friday, which is themed, “How Sweet It Was – A Celebration of Plantation Life.”


Four events in four locations along Front Street will be combined into one large, walkable celebration: Sun Yat-sen Chinese Heritage Festival at Wo Hing Museum; grand reopening of the expanded Plantation Museum at The Wharf Cinema Center; The Village Galleries’ exhibition featuring the Jo Rockwell Collection of paintings of Maui’s sugar mills and scenes by local artists who have documented plantation life on Maui; a slideshow of Plantation Life scenes and video screening of the locally produced documentary, “The Last Harvest” on the Second Friday stage in Campbell Park. Guest speakers are Keoki Freeland and M.C. Kathy Collins.

Sun Yat-sen was born on Nov. 12, 1866, and was raised and educated in Hawai‘i. After returning to China as a young man, he made several trips to the islands, gaining local support for the Chinese revolution that ultimately led to the overthrow of China’s Manchu Qing Dynasty in 1911.

His older brother, Sun Mei, was a prosperous rancher who lived in Keokea and was considered a silent hero behind the revolution. Dr. Sun served as the first provisional president of the Republic of China in 1912. Sun Yat-sen passed away on March 12, 1925.

For more information, call the museum at 808-661-5553 or click here.

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