Celebrating Chinese New Year in Hawaii

By Andy Beth Miller

chinese new year in hawaii

Photo: Lawton Mak/Hawaii.com.

Great news abounds for those of us who aren’t quite ready for the holiday season celebrations to be over yet this year—although Christmas and New Year’s Eve have already passed, global citizens the world over are just now gearing up to ring in the 2017 Chinese New Year, and Hawaii is no exception.

Marking the beginning on the new lunar year, Chinese New Year Day is celebrated annually during the month of mid-January to mid-February. To mark the occasion, the Chinese community gathers together to celebrate the occasion with many unique traditions. Red is the symbolic color that you will see surrounding most of the festivities, believed to bring good luck and prosperity for the coming days.

chinese new year in hawaii

Photo: Lawton Mak/Hawaii.com.

From crimson lanterns adorning homes and streets, to residents robed in clothing of the vibrant hue, to the traditional exchange of red envelopes containing cash as gifts, Chinese New Year is an exciting and merry occasion, often marked by parades, special foods and revelry including dancing, music, fireworks and more. Listed below is the inside scoop on each island’s Chinese New Year event offerings.

Chinese New Year on Oahu

chinese new year in hawaii

Photo: Lawton Mak/Hawaii.com.

Chinatown is where it’s at if you’re wanting to celebrate on Oahu. Each year, this exciting enclave opens its doors (and streets!) wide to host a Chinese New Year extravaganza. Guests joining in this year’s January 28th as well as January 20th and 21st festivities can head on over to the Chinatown hub of Beretania, Mun Fa Cultural Plaza and Maunakea Streets to enjoy a parade featuring the traditional lion and dragon dance, Kung fu exhibitions, music performances, and near endless ethnic dishes made especially for the occasion, like peking duck, Nian Gao, Bakwa, Nigori Sake Yuzu sauce, oranges (thought to bring good luck) and more.

Chinese New Year on Maui

chinese new year in hawaii

Photo: Lawton Mak/Hawaii.com.

Maui visitors make merry this Chinese New Year with help from the Lahaina Restoration Foundation, which hosts an event at Wo Hing Museum on February 3, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Attendees can look forward to a traditional lion dance, guest speakers, kung fu demonstrations, cultural demos, music and more.

Chinese New Year on Big Island

chinese new year in hawaii

Photo: Lawton Mak/Hawaii.com.

And for those vacationing on the Big Island, the Kings’ Shops invites you to its Chinese New Year celebration at 4:30 p.m. on January 30th, featuring a lion dance followed by firecrackers.

Chinese New Year festivities promise endless fun and fanfare. So enjoy, and here’s to a blessed and prosperous 2017!

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