Happy Chinese New Year! Kung Hei Fat Choi! Jan 23, 2012 marked the first day of the Lunar New Year – the Year of the Dragon! This is the most important holiday for many around the world who celebrate the lunar calendar – not only for the Chinese but also other cultures such as the Koreans, Japanese and Vietnamese.  In Hong Kong, where I had the opportunity to live for a couple years, it is a huge holiday with businesses shut down for days and many obligations to the occasion.

Here on Maui, the Chinese New Year celebration isn’t as big of a deal as in some parts of the world, but we have many people who live here with ties to cultures that do find this to be an important occasion. Here are some of the different ways on Maui to welcome the Year of the Dragon, one of 12 animals that rotate each year among the Chinese Zodiac. I am especially fond of the Year of the Dragon, having been born in the Year of the Dragon myself.

– A Saigon Café  in Wailuku celebrated the New Year yesterday with lion dancers and a special dish.

– Mike’s Hong Kong Bistro in Wailuku is offering specials for the Chinese New Year until the end of January, including the lucky and traditional Chinese dessert gau, a gelatinous treat.

– The Wharf Cinema Center in Lahaina will be celebrating with an annual Chinese New Year celebration on Wednesday Janauary 25 at 11:30 am with fireworks and lion dancing

– The Piilani Village Shopping Center in Kihei will celebrate with lion dancing on Thursday January 26 at 4:30 pm.

Maui Mall in Kahului will be hosting a Chinese New Year event on Saturday January 28 form 9 am – 2 pm featuring lion dancing, crafts, a Chinese cooking contest and food booths.

– Dragon Dragon is a very popular and elegant Chinese restaurant in Maui Mall and a fitting place to celebrate the Year of the Dragon.

-Topaz Goldsmith and Gallery at the Dolphin Plaza in Kihei will be holding a celebration on Saturday January 28 at 7 pm which will include firecrackers, food and noise makers for kids, as well as a lion dance.

Kaanapali Beach Hotel, whose owners are from Hong Kong,  will be holding a special brunch to celebrate the Year of the Dragon on Sunday January 29 form 8:30 am – 1 pm. Fireworks and lion dancers will perform at 9 am and 11 am.

On behalf of Delmore Realty , we wish you a happy and properous year.