Maui Arts & Entertainment

Celebrate Chinese New Year in Lahaina, Jan. 27, 2023

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  • Chinese New Year celebration in Lahaina. PC: Lahaina Restoration Foundation.
  • Chinese New Year celebration in Lahaina. PC: Lahaina Restoration Foundation.
  • Chinese New Year celebration in Lahaina. PC: Lahaina Restoration Foundation.

Lahaina will celebrate the Lunar New Year of the Rabbit with festivities for the whole family to enjoy. Lahaina Restoration Foundation invites the public to the Wo Hing Museum & Cookhouse on Friday, Jan. 27, 2023 for an evening 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 7 p.m. with free admission. Chinese historian and collector, Dennis Ryan, will talk story in the museum about the year of the rabbit jade artifacts and other special antiques.

The Chinese cultural celebration at Wo Hing Museum & Cookhouse features a variety of free activities between 4 and 7 p.m. Cultural activities for all ages include: Chinese calligraphy with Mingfang Qi, the art of Chinese knot tying with Brenda Wong. Learn the skill of mahjong playing with Paula Maki. A cooking demonstration and tasting of Mapo Tofu will be presented by Chef Bobby Santos. Learn about Chinese herbs and acupuncture from Dr. Tim Harvey and get a New Year’s reading from Christine Tranka and Jeanie Brew. Keiki can make Chinese Rabbit crafts at the art table.

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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 begins 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 dance down Front Street, stopping in shops and restaurants.

At 6 p.m., Dr. Busaba Yip Douglas will present a powerpoint on the history of Chinese New Year and the history of lion dancing.

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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.

The rabbit is the fourth of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. People born during the year of the Rabbit have a quiet personality that hides their confidence and strength. They move steadily towards their goals. A plain and routine life is not their style. Through conservative and careful in their actions, they need surprises every so often to spice things up. With their good reasoning skills and attention to detail, they make great scholars.

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