VIDEO: Spectacular Chinese New Year Celebration at Maui Mall
[flashvideo file=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJXEbO_QBSU /] In a sea of red, Maui County celebrated the Chinese New Year celebration yesterday as hundreds of people came out to find good luck at the Maui Mall.
Presented by the Maui Martial Arts Society, the parade of the lions kicked off with the very loud bang of firecrackers followed by the drums announcing the entrance of three beautifully handcrafted lions.
The old and young alike converged on the lions as they delivered the red envelopes of good luck into the lion’s mouth. From afar, the lion heads could be seen to rise above the crowd periodically, and move between the food booths and the people.
Mayor Alan Arakawa presented opening greetings and well-wishes to all and Alakai Paleka, emcee extraordinaire, kept the crowd laughing as mistress of ceremony.
Along with two rounds of the lion dancers, entertainment included tai chi demonstrations, a children’s Chinese attire contest, a Chinese cooking contest, and performances by the University of Hawaii Phoenix Chamber Dancers.
Children had fun doing “rabbit crafts”, an art contest, and craft booths. The dragon and lion marionettes were very popular.
According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, the Year of the Rabbit is generally a year of calm after the tumultuous year of the tiger. Heal, transform, use diplomacy, be kind and pure to each other. Money can be made easily but also spent easily because the rabbit
loves beauty and luxury.
The Chinese New Year custom is that every family thoroughly cleans their homes to sweep away any ill-fortune in hopes to make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors are decorated with red color papercuts and couplets with popular themes of “happiness”.
The event was sponsored by Alexander and Baldwin, Connec, LLC, County of Maui, First Hawaiian Bank, Hawaiian Tourism, Authority, Maui Chinese Club, Maui Chinese Cultural Society, Maui Mall, Maui Mall Merchant Association, Tri-Isle RC&D, Wailuku Dental Group, and Whole Foods.