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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, January 29, 2010

Kung hee fat choy

by Kawehi Haug
Advertiser Entertainment Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Lion dancing again will be part of Chinese New Year festivities in Chinatown.

Advertiser library photo

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Freshly fried jin doi at last year’s street fair.


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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Bakeries and restaurants will be selling gau.

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Joong is usually filled with salted duck egg yolk, pork and beans.

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Last year’s Chinese New Year celebration on Maunakea Street in Chinatown attracted a crowd of all ages.

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Chinese New Year festivities began earlier this month, but the official passing of the old lunar year and the coming of the new one happens Feb 14. Until then, and throughout February, there will be celebrations all over the island: festivals, food fairs, lion dances and even beauty pageants. Here's a guide to bringing in the Year of the Tiger:


10 a.m.-10 p.m. today and Saturday

Chinatown Cultural Plaza, 100 N. Beretania St.


Spend a couple of days taking in traditional Chinese exhibits, martial arts demonstrations, feng shui presentations, plenty of food and Chinese dancing and singing.


5-10 p.m. Saturday

Hilton Hawaiian Village, 2005 Kalia Road

$68, with banquet dinner; 533-3181

The Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii is hosting its annual Coronation Ball — the ceremony at which the new Narcissus Queen is officially crowned. The Narcissus Queen Pageant, which this year took place Jan. 6, annually selects a queen and her court to preside over Narcissus Festival activities throughout the year. This year's pageant winner is 25-year-old Angie Yiyin Zhang.


6-10 p.m. Feb. 5

Chinese Chamber of Commerce, 8 S. King St.


The festivities start with the choy cheng, the traditional Chinese lion-dance blessing. The Narcissus Queen and her court will make their rounds, visiting Chinatown businesses, while business and store owners celebrate by lighting fireworks and offering envelopes of money, or lisee, to the dancing lions for good luck.


6-10 p.m. Feb. 5; 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Feb. 6

Chinatown Cultural Plaza, 100 N. Beretania St.


The first day of the two-day Chinatown Open House celebration will be an extravaganza of food vendors, arts and crafts booths and entertainment, trumped only by Saturday's all-day affair that will include all the traditional Chinese New Year's foods, such as jai (vegetarian monk's food), jin doi (deep-fried doughnut), gau (rice cake) and jook (rice soup), as well as ethnic dance troupes, local musical groups, and martial arts and weapons demonstrations.


3:30-5:30 p.m. Feb. 6

Starts on Hotel Street at the state Capitol, ends in Chinatown on Maunakea Street


The annual parade includes festival queens and their courts, cultural organizations, kung fu martial artists, lion and dragon dance associations, including a special appearance by a 150-foot dragon.


9 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Feb. 6

Maunakea and Smith streets


This all-day block party is the culmination of the Chinatown New Year celebrations with food booths featuring home-cooked Asian fare, vendors selling traditional New Year's arts and crafts, entertainment on two stages with martial arts, cultural demonstrations and Chinese lion and dragon dance performances. Spend some time in Keiki Land, where kids of all ages can ring in the new lunar year with all kinds of activities from inflatable rides to games.


11 a.m.-4 p.m. Feb. 12

Fort Street Mall


Au's Shaolin Arts Society will be paying a visit, as a troupe of eye-catching lions, to the various merchants on Fort Street.


10 a.m.-noon Feb. 13

Market City Shopping Center. 2919 Kapi'olani Blvd., back parking lot facing Kaimukí High School


Taiko Center of the Pacific will give a special taiko drum performance, the Wah Ngai Lion Dance Association will do the traditional New Year's lion dance and there will be firecrackers and fortune cookies for everyone.


8 p.m.-4 a.m. Feb. 13

Pearl Ultralounge, Ala Moana Center

$10 at the door

Rage in the year of the tiger at party promoter Russell Tanoue's all-out Chinese New Year's eve party. The first 100 guests through the door will get free stuff.


• 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Feb. 14

Windward Mall

Kung fu demonstration and lion dance by Au's Shaolin Arts.

• 10:30 a.m. Feb. 15

Kunia Shopping Center

Performed by the Chinese Lion Dance Association.

• Noon Feb. 20

Koko Marina Center

Performed by the Asia Arts Organization.

• 9 a.m. Feb. 21

Aloha Stadium

Performed by the Asia Arts Organization.

• 11 a.m. Feb. 27

Mililani Shopping Center

Performed by the Chinese Lion Dance Association.

• 1 p.m. Feb. 27

Salt Lake Shopping Center

Performed by the Asia Arts Organization.


According to the Chinese zodiac, 2010 is the Year of the Tiger. And that actually means something. Here's a quick guide to all things tiger.
The Chinese zodiac is based on a 12-year cycle. Each year of the cycle is named for one of the 12 animals that, according to legend, were smart enough, strong enough, wise enough or clever enough to show up for a sort of imperial roll call where the animals of the zodiac were to be selected. The following animals showed up, in this order: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, ram, monkey, rooster, dog, boar.
Each animal exhibits its own personality and characteristics, which are said to be the factors that determine the inherent human traits that are present in each of us.
You were born in the Year of the Tiger if you were born between the following dates:
Jan. 26, 1914–Feb. 13, 1915
Feb. 13, 1926-Feb. 1, 1927
Jan. 31, 1938–Feb. 18, 1939
Feb. 17, 1950–Feb. 5, 1951
Feb. 5, 1962–Jan. 24, 1963
Jan. 23, 1974–Feb. 10, 1975
Feb. 9, 1986–Jan. 28, 1987
Jan. 28, 1998–Feb. 15, 1999
Feb. 14, 2010–Feb. 2, 2011

First the good: Unpredictable, rebellious, colorful, powerful, passionate, daring, impulsive, vigorous, sincere, affectionate and generous.
But you can also be restless, reckless, impatient, quick-tempered, obstinate, selfish, aggressive and unpredictable.
Tigers get along better with some of the 12 Chinese zodiac signs than with others. Here's a list of matches and clashes:
Tiger + Rat = An indifferent pairing. They just don't care much for each other.
Tiger + Ox = Serious drama. We're talking World War III stuff ó there's no peace to be found when these two are around.
Tiger + Tiger = A workable, but not ideal, relationship. Too much of a good thing, in this case, means minor annoyances that can only be overlooked if both are working toward the same goal.
Tiger + Rabbit = A mutually tolerable relationship. They don't clash, but they don't dig each other, either.
Tiger + Dragon = A mutual respect. A power struggle could pop up every now and then, but nothing they can't work through.
Tiger + Snake = Lots of suspicious behavior. They don't trust each other, and they can't relate to each other on any level.
Tiger + Horse = Happily ever after. These two get along great, they work well together, and they live well with each other.
Tiger + Sheep = A just so-so connection. Nothing great here. They can handle each other, but that's all.
Tiger + Monkey = Serious rivalry. They don't see eye to eye on anything, and they don't care to.
Tiger + Rooster = Miscommunication galore. These two find each other incredibly irritating.
Tiger + Dog = Super smooth sailing. Fight like cats and dogs? Not this time. This is a formula for success.
Tiger + Boar = Sunny skies, chirpy birds and rainbows. This is a love match made in heaven.
There are a few things you can do to get the most out of the Chinese New Year festivities. Here's a checklist:
1. Wear something red. According to Chinese legend, red scares away evil spirits.
2. Watch a lion dance.
3. Fill a lisee with a couple of bucks and throw it into the mouth of a dancing dragon for good luck. The little red envelopes can be bought at any store in Chinatown.
4. Make sure you're in earshot of fireworks. It's not Chinese New Year if you can't hear loud popping noises. There will be fireworks Feb. 6 at the Night in Chinatown festival, and on Feb. 13 at the Year of the Tiger celebration at Market City (see event listings for more information).
5. Go shopping. Buying traditional New Year's trinkets, plants and other small items is all part of the fun. Better yet, buy something and give it to a friend. Gift-giving is a big part of the Chinese New Year's tradition. See the event listing for a list of festivals and events that include vendors.
6. Eat traditional New Year's food. At Sing Cheong Yuan Chinese Bakery in Chinatown (1027 Maunakea St., 531-6688), you'll find a full array of New Year's treats like gau (rice flour cake) and jin doi (deep-fried sesame balls, stuffed with coconut or black sugar), as well as a mind-boggling variety of other Chinese goodies ($1-$5.50).
7. Learn the phrase: Kung hee fat choy, which means happy new year.