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Kung hei fat choy!

Sunday was the first day of the Year of the Yin Black Water Rabbit, states an informational piece from the Majestic Culture and the Arts Association, which will be making a special appearance on Kaua‘i on Saturday, bringing the Chinese lion dance celebrating the Chinese New Year to two locations on the island.

Sunday, people lined up outside Sone’s Delicatessen and Ho’s Chinese Kitchen for a taste of their favorite foods used to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

“We’re celebrating the fourth anniversary of Partea,” said Melissa McFerrin-Warrack, special leasing agent at Kukui Grove Center. “Partea started on the main walkway at the shopping center before moving to its current location in the food court. We’re also celebrating the first anniversary since the new owners took over Ho’s Chinese Kitchen.”

Anniversary celebrations provided Kukui Grove shoppers with a series of games and prize giveaways amidst Chinese decorations that started to appear in the food court area.

The Chinese New Year, following a zodiac of 12 animals and combined with five elements, celebratory period started Sunday, and according to the Majestic Culture group, runs to Feb. 9, although in countries where the Chinese New Year is observed as a national celebration, only the first seven days are considered national holidays.

The Garden Island will have its share of lunar new year celebrations, starting Friday when The Shops at Kukui‘ula combine the lunar new year with its monthly Flavors of Kukui‘ula programming, from 5:30 until 8:30 p.m.

Firecrackers and the lion dance kick off starting at 6 p.m., followed by a taiko presentation by the Tsunami Taiko performers with ‘Oiwi presenting live music from 7 p.m.

“Our annual Chinese New Year Celebration is one of The Shops’ largest events,” said Stacie Chiba-Miguel, regional manager for Alexander &Baldwin. “We look forward to welcoming and celebrating the Lunar New Year with our friends and guests.”

The sign of the rabbit is a symbol of longevity, peace and prosperity. Accordingly, the Year of the Rabbit is expected to be a year of hope.

Tsunami Taiko and the Chinese lion continues their treks on the island, on Saturday moving to Kukui Grove Center, where the groups makes their appearance ushering in good luck while chasing out any remaining bad spirits from the previous years.

“We’re planning on offering the lion lai see, or the traditional wish for luck for the recipient,” said Cherie Cabading of Kaua‘i Partea. “I remember when the lion used to pass the shop when we were at the main walkway.”

McFerrin-Warrack said in addition to the lion, they are fortunate to have Diane Rubio and Falling Down Romance provide entertainment while waiting on the Majestic Culture and the Arts Association that is expected to be at the shopping center from 1 p.m. on Saturday.

According to Michael Ching of the Ching Young Village Shopping Center in Hanalei, the Majestic Culture and the Arts Association is expected to visit the center, and some adjoining businesses, on Saturday from 10 a.m. before the group heads to Kukui Grove.

“The big difference with the Majestic group is they allow a meet-and-greet with the lion,” McFerrin-Warrack said. “And Diane Rubio and Falling Down Romance are so talented with its ability to render Chinese songs, and even play authentic Chinese musical instruments.”

Rabbit years bring lucky breaks and partnerships for those on their true paths, according to the Majestic group. Although the rabbit is not the strongest animal, its charm and speed attract money, fertility, lovers, and success.

“This is especially important when combined with the ‘Water’ element,” the group said. “A Water Rabbit year has not occurred since 1963. The Water element will enhance our psychic ability, diplomacy and negotiation skills. Expect major shifts in politics as a new wave of leaders step up. The answer to war is not peace — it’s creativity.”

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 808-245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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