11 Feb 2019
Kung Hee Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year from Sunny Poipu!
Hundreds gathered in the Palms Court of The Shops at Kukui’ula to get a glimpse of the Chinese Lions Dancing and most importantly to usher in the Lunar New Year - The Year of the Pig, which officially began on February 5th.
What does a pig have to do with the new year?
The Chinese Lunar Calendar includes the Chinese Zodiac, which are represented by 12 different animals: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and, of course, the pig. Every year a new animal is assigned according to the list above making this year The Year of the Pig/Boar!
At the start of the event the staff of The Shops at Kukui’ula passed out small red envelopes with a cute little pig in gold foil printed on the front. These little red envelopes are called Lai See. The color of the envelope represents good luck and prosperity. The act of monetary gifting with the Lai See means that you are wishing the recipient good luck and passing on good fortune.
The ceremony began with taiko drumming by Tsunami Taiko Club from Waimea, Kaua'i. As the drums beat firecrackers are popped. In Chinese tradition the loud sounds of the drums and firecrackers are meant to scare off evil spirits.
Next came three dancing lions, a pink one, white one, and the last was the most adorable baby lion. They were followed by the taiko drummers and a line of eager on lookers. They danced through the crowds chomping down the red Lai See offered by the people in the crowd. A kind elderly gentleman explained that according to Chinese etiquette you are supposed to use both hands when handing over a gift. This also pertains to feeding your Lai See to the lions.
The sun set as the lions danced around the shopping center and the crowd slowly dispersed. It seemed like most who attended the event also stayed for dinner at one of the nearby restaurants. With dining options such as Merrimans Fish House, Eating House 1849, Dolphin Restaurant, Tortilla Republic, and other superb eateries right near the Palms Center. Word of advice though, make some dinner reservations early.
According to The Shops Manager they intend on holding this event again next year and following years to come.