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Festival celebrates Chinese history and culture

By Staff | Nov 8, 2018

Educational events will be held at the Wo Hing Museum.

LAHAINA – Delicious red bean mochi, freshly baked pineapple buns and sweet sesame candies are just a few of the exciting Chinatown treats that will be flown in from Oahu for the Chinese Heritage Festival, “Taste of China,” on Friday, Nov. 9, at the Wo Hing Museum at 858 Front St. in Lahaina from 5 to 8 p.m.

Open to the public, the festival celebrates Chinese history and culture and includes free admission to the Wo Hing Museum from Monday, Nov. 5, to Friday, Nov. 9, with daily museum hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and extended to 8 p.m. on Friday.

“It’s a special time for the community to honor the early Chinese who immigrated to Maui and influenced plantation life and how we are today,” said Cultural Director Dr. Busaba Yip.

On Nov. 9, Dr. Yip will present a talk on the “Life of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen and His Connection to Maui” at 2 p.m., followed by Wo Hing Society member Bobby Santos who will share a personal story about “Finding my Chinese Roots” at 5 p.m.

At 7 p.m., there will be a panel discussion highlighting the history of the Wo Hing Society with Carolyn Kam, Bobby Santos, Dr. Yip and Brenda Wong.

“My daughter and I have so much fun making crafts at these Chinese festivals. There’s always something new to learn,” said Lahaina resident Maelene Bulosan.

Everyone 12 years old and up can learn Chinese knotting in a hands-on class taught by Brenda Wong. Keiki can make a Chinese dragon and decorative prints using quotes from Dr. Sun Yat-sen. All classes are free.

Old-time favorites like li hing mui, lemon, plum and olive cracked seed will be sold at the Taste of China booths. Sesame macadamia nut candy, sesame peanut candy, almond cookies, rice cakes, rice puffs, coconut mochi and a variety of flavored iced jasmine tea will also be available for take-out or to eat onsite.

Other activities during the Chinese Heritage Festival include a lei ceremony honoring Dr. Sun Yat-sen at 4:30 p.m. and ongoing historical exhibits and films.

Presented by Wo Hing Society and Lahaina Restoration Foundation, Chinese Heritage is one of four annual festivals held at the Wo Hing Museum. The event is sponsored by Hawaii Tourism Authority and the County of Maui Office of Economic Development. For more information, visit bit.ly/CHFmaui18 or call the Wo Hing Museum at 661-5553.