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Lahaina Town to welcome the Year of the Dragon

By Staff | Jan 19, 2012

Lions from Au’s Shaolin Arts Society will dance from the Baldwin Home to the Wo Hing Museum next week Friday evening.

LAHAINA – Fireworks, drum beats, martial arts and lion dancing will fill Front Street as the community ushers in the Chinese Year of the Dragon on Friday, Jan. 27, from 5 to 9 p.m.

Festivities will begin on the Baldwin Home lawn with a martial arts demonstration by Au’s Shaolin Arts Society, as they continue their Chinese New Year lion dances for the 27th consecutive year on Maui.

The lions will travel north on Front Street visiting merchants with a final stop at the Wo Hing Museum, allowing visitors and residents alike the opportunity to take part in this exciting custom.

After a year of rest and relaxation in the Year of the Rabbit, the Year of the Dragon represents good fortune, benevolence, grace and good luck. The Dragon is a sign of success and happiness, offering inspiration to look forward to the great discoveries, achievements and relationships this year will bring.

All are invited to join in as Lahaina Restoration Foundation hosts a celebration of Chinese tradition and culture. Festivities will include children’s arts and crafts, a Farmers’ Market, delicacies from Fu Lin restaurant, presentation by Busaba Yip called “Cultural Traditions & Year of the Dragon” and Jackson Chameleon display.

A martial arts demonstration by the Shaolin Arts Society begins the lion dance performance and fireworks from 5 to 9 p.m., starting at the Baldwin Home Museum lawn and traveling north to its final destination at the Wo Hing Museum. “Year of the Dragon” merchandise will also be available for purchase.

Chinese immigrants came to Lahaina in the mid-1800s with the dream of gaining fortune and goodwill. To celebrate cultural Chinese traditions, the community will commemorate their most treasured event at the only Chinese museum in Hawaii.

Chinese New Year is the most important social holiday in China. It is a time for family, feasting and wishing good fortune, health and happiness. Traditionally, the Chinese year follows a lunar calendar with each year represented by an animal.

According to legend, Buddha summoned all the animals of the forest, but only 12 answered. To honor these animals, Buddha named each year according to the order in which each animal appeared.

The Wo Hing Museum is located at 858 Front St. in Lahaina Town. For more information on the event, call 661-3262 or visit www.lahainarestoration.org.