Chinese New Year Celebration at the Mauna Kea

Although I was born and raised in the culturally diverse California Bay Area, Chinese New Year’s was not a celebration that figured into my life – until I moved to Hawaii.

Like other holidays in Hawaii – Chinese New Year celebrations are fun, loud, and full of food!

Last Monday I had to laugh while explaining to a client that here in Hawaii we take holidays “very seriously” because of course holidays in Hawaii are anything but serious. What they are is the perfect reason to stop working and start celebrating! Or at least, try to take a half day off, or an earlier than usual pau hana. Or go camping for a three day weekend! Lucky we live Hawaii.

It wouldn’t be the Big Island if we didn’t talk about—and eat a lot of—food for Chinese New Years. With limited Chinese food choices on the leeward side of the Big Island, for dim sum you must fly to Chinatown on Oahu, and the best Chinese New Years food on island is at my former business partner and owner of Lava Rock Realty, LLC, Peggy Yuan,R(B) ‘s house. That being said, I’m thinking the menu at the Manta and Pavilion Wine Bar at the Mauna Kea resort is looking tasty.

If you apply for a permit from the county, you can blow off your extra fireworks on Chinese New Years—always a favorite at my house. This was our picnic table on January 1, 2012 after an evening of New Year’s fireworks!

Chinese New Year celebrations are fun for many reasons – typically there is at least one “dancing dragon” who will enter restaurants, dance down the street, and sometimes in a parade. With this being the Year of the Dragon, I’m guessing we’ll be seeing some extra special and extra energetic dragons this year!

Last Friday night at Beach 69 in Wailea Bay, next to Puako, we had a Hawaii Life and Friends New Year’s Beach Party! It was gorgeous!! Huge mahalos to everyone for joining us and special kudos go to Annie Mendoza,R(S) and Jene’ Green, R(S), who both resembled dancing dragons during their charades stints. Hilarious! (ps – I have video!)

Perhaps my favorite thing about Chinese New Years is that it feels like I get a “Do-Over” – another opportunity to restart the new year. Life and work and family and the rush of the holidays means my New Year begins several weeks into the actual new year. My yoga teacher has been gone and returns next week. So this is perfect timing for a DO OVER! Believe me, I have some big “resolutions” – aka: goals – for 2012, and it’s time to get, ahem… fire breathing…

If the dragon is a representation of strength and wisdom, I’d say we’re in good shape to be tracking with the Chinese Year of the Dragon. Strength and Wisdom to you in 2012.

, , , ,

6 Responses to “Chinese New Year Celebration at the Mauna Kea”

  1. Pat Strausse R(B)
    January 23, 2012 at 9:51 am #

    Katie – don’t forget to be brave and put some money in the mouth of the dragon for luck and
    prosperity! I just love to watch the dragon dance – one of the great points of living on the Big
    Island. And, soon it will time for Waimea’s Cherry Blossom Festival … mmmm…good food there too!

    • Katie Minkus, R(BIC)
      January 23, 2012 at 10:23 am #

      Aloha Pat… anything I can do for additional prosperity… ;) Speaking of cherry blossoms, when I was in Waimea last week I noticed a couple of the trees at Church Row are already in full bloom – GORGEOUS!

  2. Sharon Brown R(S)
    January 23, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

    Looks like fun was had by all at your New Year’s party – check out that picnic table! Strength and Wisdom to all in 2012. Thanks Katie.

  3. Beth Thoma Robinson, R(B)
    January 23, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    Technically it is the lion that dances, and this year you can feed it in Kohala on Saturday Feb 4th starting around 9:30 in Kapaau and reaching Hawi around noon. So Katie, get to your yoga class a little early and you too can feed the lion for luck!

    My other Chinese New Year’s favorite in Kohala is the once a year opening of the Tong Wo Society building. Lion Dance, martial arts demos, and a potluck!

  4. Brooke Derby R(S)
    January 24, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    @Beth one of my Chinese New Year’s favorites is also the Lion Dance at the Tong Wo Society! It actually takes place on January 29, 2012 at 10:00 AM. May the Dragon bring you health, happiness, & prosperity!

  5. Katie Minkus
    January 24, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    A lion, huh??? I always thought it was a dragon! Well, blow me over with a feather! I learn something new to love about Hawaii every day! Thanks, Beth!!

Leave a Reply

Leave your opinion here. Please be nice. Your Email address will be kept private.