Lahaina Town to Celebrate Chinese Moon Festival
The Lahaina Restoration Foundation and the Wo Hing Society host the annual Chinese Moon Festival from Monday, Sept. 17 to Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018 at the Wo Hing Museum & Cookhouse on Front Street.
The event honors the traditions of China and features free admission to the museum all week, culminating in a daylong event on Saturday.
Chinese moon cakes from Hong Kong will be on sale at the Wo Hing Museum during the event.
Also known as the Mid-Autumn or Mooncake Festival, the Chinese Moon Festival is a favorite time for family, friends and sweethearts to reunite under a full moon during the harvest.
Attendees can learn more about the origins of this popular Chinese holiday during the “Story of the Moon Festival,” presented by Dr. Busaba Yip, cultural director for Wo Hing Museum, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, after which attendees can enjoy mini-tastings of Taiwanese moon cakes – dense, round pastries that are shared with family and loved ones during the Moon Festival..
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Honolulu has donated 120 of the locally made (in Honolulu) Taiwanese moon cakes for use in festival offerings, exhibits and displays. In addition, TECO also donated special mountain oolong tea from Mt Li in central Taiwan (Li means “pear” in Mandarin) which will be served in the tea garden.
Saturday’s festivities include guided tours of the Wo Hing Temple for ages 10 and up. The tours will be offered every hour (at 5, 6, 7 and 8 p.m.), and space is limited; reserve a spot in advance at bit/ly18temple From 5 to 9 p.m., moon cakes and Chinese teas will be served in the tea garden, accompanied by gu zheng harp music by Toi Suchitra Srijantara.
Hands-on cultural activities include Chinese fan making for keiki, sponsored by the Lahaina Arts Association; Chinese calligraphy with Rev. Takayuki of the Lahaina Shingon Mission; and Chinese knot-tying with Brenda Wong.
Chef Bobby Santos will demonstrate how to prepare Crispy Gau Gee, and give a free tasting. Then from 6 to 7 p.m., Maui Chinese Martial Arts Academy will share an exciting demonstration of Kung Fu and Tai Chi Chuan (crowd participation is encouraged!). As the only and longest-running Chinese martial arts school on Maui, MCMAA offers history and traditional practices in Tao Ga Kung Fu, Tai Chi Chuan and traditional Lion Dance. (They are currently looking for new members on the West Side, with the hope of being able to support Lion Dancing in Lahaina: contact Jay Curesma 808-258-0614).
The Wo Hing Museum & Cookhouse is located at 858 Front St. and will offer free admission from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, Sept. 17- 21, and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22. Visitors will enjoy a Chinese lantern display, educational exhibits about the Moon Festival, and a traditional Chinese Moon Goddess offering harvest display; as well as the temple tours (must pre-register at bit/ly18temple), presentations, demonstrations and cultural activities.
“We are so pleased to pay tribute to Lahaina’s enduring Chinese heritage and to celebrate the coming of the harvest—a time of joyful reunion,” said Theo Morrison, Executive Director of Lahaina Restoration Foundation. “We invite everyone to come down to Front Street and take part in the tradition of the Moon Festival.”
The event is presented and sponsored by Wo Hing Society, Lahaina Restoration Foundation, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Office of Economic Development, Lahaina Arts Association, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Honolulu, and Maui Chinese Martial Arts Academy.