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Ring in the Year of the Rat with lions, firecrackers and games

By Staff | Jan 30, 2020

After performing a New Year blessing at the Wo Hing Museum & Cookhouse, the lions will dance down Front Street and visit shops and restaurants.

LAHAINA – Lahaina will celebrate the lunar New Year of the Rat with festivities for the whole family to enjoy.

Lahaina Restoration Foundation invites the public to the Wo Hing Museum & Cookhouse at 858 Front St. on Friday, Jan. 31, for an evening of cultural art activities, exciting lion dancing and historical presentations that pay tribute to Chinese New Year. The museum will be open between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. with free admission.

Awakened by firecrackers, lion dances with drums, gongs and cymbals will be performed in the museum yard. The New Year blessing by Au’s Shaolin Arts Society begins at 5 p.m. by the entrance to the Wo Hing Temple building. Lai see envelopes will be handed out to feed the lions for good luck.

The Chinese cultural celebration will feature a variety of free activities between 2 and 7 p.m. To kick-off festivities, Dr. Busaba Yip will present the history of Chinese New Year at 2 p.m., and special guest Dennis Ryan, a collector, will tell the story of the Rat – the first animal in the lunar calendar. They will do a second presentation at 6 p.m.

From 4 to 7 p.m. in the museum yard, keiki can make Year of the Rat-themed crafts. Cultural activities for all ages include Chinese calligraphy with Rev. Takayuki Meguro and the art of Chinese knot tying with Brenda Wong.

Mahjong games for beginners and advanced players will also be held.

For event updates, call the Lahaina Restoration Foundation office at 661-3262, go to LahainaRestoration.org/events or visit Facebook @LahainaRestoration.