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Lahaina to celebrate 150th birthday of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, Father of Modern China

By Staff | Nov 3, 2016

The Wo Hing Cookhouse features a tribute to Dr. Sun Yat-sen.

LAHAINA – In celebration of the 150th birthday of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, recognized as the Father of Modern China, Lahaina Restoration Foundation and Wo Hing Society will present the Sun Yat-sen Festival on Friday, Nov. 11, and Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016. Celebration activities will be held at the Wo Hing Museum at 858 Front St. in Lahaina between 2 and 8:30 p.m., with the museum open at 10 a.m. Admission is free.

During this two-day festival, attendees can learn about the extraordinary life of Dr. Yat-sen and his connection to Maui in a new educational exhibit, by watching a film tribute, and during presentations by Dr. Busaba Yip, Wo Hing Museum cultural director, in the Cookhouse.

Cultural activities include printmaking for kids, featuring Dr. Sun’s symbolism and messages of universal love, from 5 to 8:30 p.m. each day. In the same timeframe, Chinese calligraphy will be demonstrated by Rev. Hara of Lahaina Jodo Mission on Friday, and by Rev. Takayuki of Lahaina Shingon Mission on Saturday.

Brenda Wong will showcase her expertise in Chinese knot tying, and Cory Williams will demonstrate Chinese martial arts and Tai Chi movements on Saturday between 5 and 8:30 p.m.

Traditional Chinese music will be performed on both days of the festival with Toi Suchitra Srijantara on the gu zheng harp from 2 p.m., and Hong Zhou on the bamboo flute and erhu string instrument from 6 p.m.

Between 5 and 8:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Chinese teas will be served in the garden. Festival-goers can watch Cantonese fried rice cooking demonstrations by Chef Bobby Santos and taste samples. On Saturday, closing festivities will begin at 8 p.m. with a birthday cake and song celebrating Dr. Sun Yat-sen.

Sun Yat-sen (Nov. 12, 1866 – March 12, 1925) was raised and educated in Hawaii. After returning to China as a young man, he made several trips to the islands, gaining local support for the Chinese revolution that ultimately led to the overthrow of China’s Manchu Qing Dynasty in 1911.

His older brother, Sun Mei, was a prosperous rancher who lived in Keokea on Maui and was considered a silent hero behind the revolution.

Dr. Sun served as the first provisional president of the Republic of China. He is renowned for developing the “Three Principles of the People” – nationalism, the people’s rights and livelihood.

The Sun Yat-sen Festival is supported by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, County of Maui Office of Economic Development and Wo Hing Society.

Wo Hing Museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. both days with free admission. For more information, call the museum at 661-5553, see LahainaRestoration.org/events or visit Facebook.com/LahainaRestoration.