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!!)