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Celebrate Chinese New Year at the Wo Hing Museum

By Staff | Feb 3, 2011

The Chinese practice of Qigong — physical and mental training for health — is believed to increase longevity and promote a higher level of existence. Qigong demonstrations will take place on the open lawn fronting the Wo Hing cookhouse from 5:30 to 6 p.m. on Feb. 4.

LAHAINA — Lahaina Restoration Foundation will host a Chinese New Year event at the Wo Hing Museum on Friday, Feb. 4, from 1 to 8 p.m. Join the festivities and enjoy an evening full of food, fun and tradition!

Free educational demonstrations and presentations will be offered by the foundation and Wo Hing Society members. The celebration will include children’s arts and crafts; “talk circles” at 2, 4 and 7 p.m.; demonstrations on Qigong and Chinese knotting; an ancient Chinese currency presentation; food by Fu Lin restaurant; and a special appearance by the traditional Chinese Lion.

Chinese history is deeply rooted in culture — a culture still rich in today’s society. Prior to being a top travel destination, Lahaina’s leading industry was sugar. This industry is responsible for the waves of immigrants to Lahaina’s shores, thousands of whom were Chinese. It wasn’t long before the island’s native population began to embrace Chinese cultural practices and traditions, a result of intermarriages.

“Talk circles” will include powerpoint presentations focusing on the impact of the Chinese in Lahaina and the “how and why we continue to celebrate Chinese New Year.”

Complimenting these presentations will be displays of

old documents dating back to 1906 discovered in the Wo Hing Temple in 1999. All are invited to share information, photos and personal knowledge of pre-1950s Chinese history in Lahaina.

With each Chinese dynasty came new currencies made up of materials ranging from shells to copper and gold coins to paper notes. At 6 p.m., a brilliant collection of rare and ancient Chinese currency will be presented by Dennis Ryan. A retired teacher, Ryan has studied the early currency system of China for over 30 years.

Join Brenda Wong of the Wo Hing Society as she shares her insight on the ancient art of Chinese knotting from 6 to 7 p.m. Over time and under various rulers and dynasties, this art form was almost lost. However, due to the efforts and dedication of Chinese enthusiasts, the art of Chinese knotting has regained popularity and continues to grow in interest.

No celebration is complete without food. Get a taste of traditional Chinese food prepared by Fu Lin restaurant from 5 to 8 p.m. Menu items ranging from $3 to $4 will include Jai, Jin Dui (Chinese sesame balls), Nin Gao (rice cake), Beef Chow Fun, Pineapple/Coconut Shrimp, Gau Gee (potstickers) and Crab/Cream Cheese Wontons.

Don’t miss your “Good Luck Bite!” Starting at 5 p.m., two Chinese Lions, sponsored by LahainaTown Action Committee, will make their way north down Front Street, ending at the Wo Hing Museum with a traditional fireworks display and dance performance.

The Wo Hing Museum is located at 858 Front St. in Lahaina. Admission to the museum is free for this special event. For more information, call 661-3262 or visit www.lahainarestoration.org.