Travel Briefs

By Star-Bulletin Staff


Painting Lahaina red for Chinese New Year

If you're on Maui over the weekend, head to Downtown Lahaina, where merchants will be ringing in the Year of the Ram, with festivities on Front Street from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday.


Drive out early and hole up for the day because the 800 block of Front Street will be closed to vehicular traffic from 5 to 10 p.m. for the event.

Au's Shaolin Arts Society of Oahu will perform the traditional lion dance. According to folklore, the lion is a heavenly being that visits earth to replace stagnant energy with fresh, vibrant energy during special occasions. It is attracted to festivities by fireworks and the sound of drums, gongs and cymbals. Thousands of firecrackers will be set off every hour.

Feed the lions with donations in traditional "li see," red envelopes available at the event. It's said that those who "feed" the lion will get back a hundredfold what is put into its mouth.

At 6 p.m., the society will demonstrate martial healing arts and contemporary self-defense, followed by the blessing of the historic Wo Hing Temple.

Other festivities include free arts and crafts for children, calligraphy, feng shui and food for purchase from Front Street restaurants. Don't miss Aunty Anita's famous Lahaina "fry soup," chow fun served in a pink paper cone, just like in the old days. New to the celebration will be a mah jongg tournament, and the Chinese Shadow Puppet Play, "The Dragon Kite," presented by Walczuk Productions. The play will run several times between 4 and 6 p.m. in The Cookhouse Theatre.

Meanwhile, the Wo Hing Society will celebrate the lunar new year on the grounds of the Wo Hing Temple. Included will be a display of Chinese cultural items, including ceremonial documents, artifacts and old family photographs. The exhibition will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The annual celebration is coordinated by LahainaTown Action Committee and sponsored by the County of Maui. For information, call the Lahaina Visitor Center at (808) 667-9193.

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