Celebrate the Year of the Rat in Chinatown with lion dances, food and fireworks
Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year falls on Jan 25, and 2020 marks the Year of the Rat.
In China, the world's largest human migration known as Chunyun has begun, when Chinese people head home to celebrate the Spring Festival with their families. Here in Oahu, the Chinese community is gearing up for celebrations of its own.
Chinese New Year celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar. Many countries in Asia mark this time of year as Lunar New Year based on the movement of the moon. Traditions include giving red packets filled with money to children and unmarried adults for good luck and prosperity. Chinese families also gather for large feasts with special delicacies like nian gao and watch lion dances and fireworks.
Eddie Flores, chairman of L&L Hawaiian Barbecue, and Kristin Pereira, of the Young Professionals of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, appeared on Good Morning Hawaii to invite the public to festivities at the Chinatown Cultural Plaza this weekend, Jan. 17-18, including entertainment, food and a craft fair.
On Friday at 5 p.m., at the center stage of Chinatown Cultural Plaza, the Narcissus Queen and Court will welcome the audience with an appearance. Entertainment will follow with lion dances, cultural dances, and Frank DeLima performing. There will be about 10 food booths and more than 20 craft and cultural booths.
King Street will be closed to traffic at 6 p.m. At the corner of Nuuanu and King Streets, enjoy the lighting of fireworks and eight lion dance troupe performances. The court and troupes will visit merchants in Chinatown with lots of fireworks to welcome the "Year of the Rat" until 9 pm.
On Saturday, Chinatown Cultural Plaza will host a fair with 10 food booths and more than 20 craft and cultural booths. Entertainment including lion dance troupes and cultural performances go from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
At 10 a.m., dogs dressed in their favorite Chinese outfits will compete in a Doggie Costume Contest. If you're interested in joining or for more information, contact the Chinese Chamber of Commerce at (808) 533-3181.