10th year for Chinese New Year Festival in Downtown area
Video by David Corrigan, voice of Stephanie Salazar
HILO, Hawaii: Downtown Hilo may not have a Chinatown, but on Saturday Kalakaua Park was transformed into the next best thing.
For the 10th year, the Hilo Chinese New Year Festival was celebrated, and this is the Year of the Dragon … a favored sign of the Chinese zodiac.
The festival kicked off with a bang as the Big Island Shaolin Arts Lion Dancers jumped, rolled and danced among the roaring firecrackers.
Later, the lion dancers weaved around the park blessing those offering up a monetary donation, usually enclosed in a small red packet called Lai See or Hung Bao. Throughout the day there will be demonstrations by the Mo Min Kuen Monkey Kung Fu and Peter Tam Hoy’s Tai Chi students, and free keiki activities provided by the Hilo High School Leos Club.
The dancers even prepared this humongous dragon, out of the rain at the nearby Federal Building. Numerous people had to assemble in order to give the dragon life, and the 150 pound head required an impressive feat of strength just to animate.
Event organizers say the Year of the Dragon is associated with new beginnings and good fortune. Those with entrepreneurial spirit are particularly favored to see much success in the coming year. Generally, it’s predicted that any new venture may benefit from the outstanding luck often associated with the dragon. Therefore, it will be a very good year to get married, have children, or start a new business. It is said that as the world suffers through hard economic times, bold new leadership will help ease the circumstances of those suffering most from recent financial setbacks. Since this is the year of the Water Dragon, the liquid element is predicted to calm the dragon’s usually tempestuous nature, and will give a thoughtful perspective to the plight of the less fortunate.
The festival is presented by the Hilo Downtown Improvement Association. Executive director Alice Moon is the original producer of the festival which involves many sponsors, community organizations and individuals.
by Big Island Video News
For the 10th year, the Hilo Chinese New Year Festival was celebrated, and this is the Year of the Dragon ... a favored sign of the Chinese zodiac.