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Wharf Cinema Center to usher in the Year of the Rabbit

By Staff | Jan 27, 2011

Au’s Shaolin Arts Society will perform a lion dance at The Wharf Cinema Center on Thursday, Feb. 3. The sleeping lions will awaken at 11:30 a.m., when firecrackers are set off at the center’s entrance along Front Street.

LAHAINA — Now in its 26th year, a tradition that began in 1985 continues as The Wharf Cinema Center will welcome the new lunar year, the Year of the Rabbit, on Thursday, Feb. 3.

The tradition started 26 years ago for the children of Lahaina and the community.

Each year since, preschool keiki up to first-graders from Lahaina’s schools are invited to ring in the lunar New Year at The Wharf.

Master Ben Seng Au and Au’s Shaolin Arts Society were here for the first celebration, and through the years they have played a significant role in Lahaina’s tribute to Chinese New Year.

The sleeping lions will wake when firecrackers are lit at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday at the entrance of The Wharf on Front Street.

The hungry lion is fed by students at The Wharf Cinema Center. Ben Seng Au and Au’s Shaolin Arts Society will return at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 3.

They will dance their way down to center stage, as beating drums announce their arrival to the special guests — kindergarten children of King Kamehameha III Elementary School and Sacred Hearts School, together with Holy Innocents and Kama’aina Kids of Lahaina preschools.

The children look forward to feeding the hungry lions the Red Lai See envelopes, voluntarily filled with monetary offerings for good luck.

People born during the Year of the Rabbit are said to be eloquent, talented and driven. They are righteous, quiet and have great taste.

“Rabbits” are appreciated, trustworthy and often lucky in wealth. They are fond of gossip but diplomatic and friendly with others. They seldom lose their temper.

Join The Wharf Cinema Shops and Restaurants for the celebration. Admission is free and the public is invited.

The Wharf Shops and Restaurants are located at 658 Front St., across from the Banyan Tree in historic Lahaina Town.

Validated parking is available in The Wharf parking lots located right behind the center (simply enter from Luakini or Wainee streets), or catch the Maui Bus from Kaanapali, Central or South Maui to The Wharf.

Call 661-8748 for more information.