The Lion Dance & History of Honolulu's Chinatown

By
Real Estate Agent with Liberty Homes RS-#62825

 

Chinese New Year is on February 7, 2008 and the festivities have gone on all week to celebrate the Year of the Rat.

Hawaii is so diverse with many cultures and it is always a unique experience when different festivities pop up for different ethnic cultures.

We missed yesterdays "Night in Chinatown Festival and Parade" so we hurried to the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet today (flea market) to catch the Chinese Lion Dance and wishing well wishes on each of the vendors for a year of prosperity.

 

 

 

Everyone stopped shopping to take pictures and feed the lion dollars. When the lion opened his mouth I slipped a dollar in and boy did I get a wonderful bow and a couple of squirmy moves!

 

 

Chinatown has a variety of shops, fish, meat and vegetable markets, wares, restaurants and anything and everything you can think of coming from the orient. Our Chinatown is not only Chinese shops but Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean and Filipino and more.

 

 

 

 

 

The Chinese & Chinatown's History in Hawaii: 

  • The Chinese arrived on two ships back in December of 1788.
  • In the 1800's the Chinese set up shops in Chinatown to sell their wares.
  • Between 1852 and 1876 over 3900 Chinese came to Hawaii as import laborers to work in the fast growing sugar cane industry. The made up 49% of our work force for the plantations.
  • By 1884 the number working in plantations declined due to many wanting to be self employed with their own shops and selling their wares.
  • In 1886 the big Chinatown fire destroyed 7,000 Chinese homes and 350 homes of the Native Hawaiians. Most of Chinatown was destroyed with over eight blocks burned. 
  • In 1900 the Board of Health deliberately set fires to buildings built not under code but mainly to wipe out the Bubonic Plague spreading through Chinatown.  

 

                                        Kung Hee Fat Choy! (Happy Chinese New Year to One and All!!)

Posted by

                                                       

 

Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman  is a Realtor-Associate® and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs  she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocations, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents, Home Buyers and Sellers.

 

 © 2007-2015 Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman's

Hawaii Real Estate and Relocation Blog.

All rights reserved.

     

 


 

 

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Ambassador
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Jason Sardi
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Sis - I can't wait to visit!!!!
Feb 04, 2008 02:06 AM #19
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

Suzanne: Mine is the Rooster and it sure tells a great story.  Our bookeeper is a monkey too.

Feb 04, 2008 02:59 AM #20
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
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Ginger: I think so too lol! It is a celebration of good luck and prosperity so yeah....
Feb 04, 2008 03:00 AM #21
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
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Lynda: You and Marlene must have been pooped going around the whole place. Good stuff to take back though huh?
Feb 04, 2008 03:01 AM #22
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
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(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

Mark: This IS your year!  Celebrate!

Georgina: You ever been to the stadium swap meet? Wonderful and huge!  Chinatown would have been more fun the night before.

 

Feb 04, 2008 03:03 AM #23
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

Thanks Dan! Glad you could get some info!

Cynthia: We MAKE our fun haha!

 

Feb 04, 2008 03:19 AM #24
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
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Neal: Of course you do!  I believe that you really want to get to Hawaii and have wanted to since childhood...you watched brady bunch, HI 5 O and remember everything. :)
Feb 04, 2008 03:20 AM #25
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
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Melissa: So do I .....interesting stuff huh?

Matt: Plenty of history all over the world. :)

Feb 04, 2008 03:22 AM #26
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
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Teri: Don't all places have some oriental kind of block or something?  I see it on tv and stuff :)

Sharon: Haven't been to Florida since the early 80's when we went to Jacksonville.

Jason: I presume soon? :)

Feb 04, 2008 03:24 AM #27
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Katerina Gasset
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Sally- I love your history lessons, they come alive through your experience and your wonderful photos brimming with vivid colors and drizzled with your sweet spirit!  I love the Chinatown in Hawaii, in San Francisco, in Chicago and in Vancouver BC. I have been to all of those. Japanese food is my favorite, followed by Chinese, then Thai. 
Feb 04, 2008 04:46 AM #28
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Diane Aurit
LKN Realty, LLC - Mooresville, NC
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Hi Sally, Happy New Year!  Thanks for sharing some history with us.  We had a huge Chinese population where I lived in So.CA and I miss that here in NC.  Have a great week!
Feb 04, 2008 07:34 AM #29
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
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Cheryl: I thank you for your compliments and glad it's helped you. We learn so much here on ActiveRain don't we?

Katerina: It was drizzling and stuff yesterday although I did manage to get a few shots :)  We were going to go around the fish and vege markets but it started pouring.

Feb 04, 2008 07:44 AM #30
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Jo-Anne Smith
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Sally, I had no idea that Honolulu had a Chinese settlement there that long ago.  Fascinating history and lovely pictures.....looks like fun!  I love reading your posts about the history of your area....and all of your other posts too.

(-:

Jo 

Feb 04, 2008 08:08 AM #31
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Thesa Chambers
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You always amaze me - I can just picture you waking up in the middle of the night with a new blog idea - keep em coming

Feb 04, 2008 09:07 AM #32
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George Souto
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Sally this would have made a great video. Is the custom of feeding the Lion dollars a Chinese custom or is that something the the Hawaii/American culture has added?
Feb 04, 2008 09:28 AM #33
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
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Jo: Thanks Jo...I'm glad you enjoy

Thesa: I actually get an idea and jot it down until I get to it LOL!

George: Chinese custom. I wish I had remembered the Saturday Chinatown festival..that would have really be fun!

Feb 04, 2008 10:07 AM #34
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Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate
Sally- If I closed my eyes I can visualize being there.....now that Lion for the New Year that I missed, but visualizing you with your camera, and all the other shoppers makes me smile......thanks :)
Feb 04, 2008 03:12 PM #35
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
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(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE
Kathy: Ha.... Gary looked more like a tourist :)  I have fun taking pics of interesting things :)
Feb 05, 2008 03:26 AM #36
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Randy Prothero
eXp Realty - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

I bet not many places have lion dancers in their swap meet.  We live in a really wonderful place. 

Thank you for the history lesson.  I did not know about the extent of the fires in Chinatowns history.

Feb 11, 2008 11:22 PM #37
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

Randy: Yup...we surely do...have some 'different' stuff going on here.

 

Feb 12, 2008 03:43 AM #38
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