Splendor of China Cultural Festival and Trade Show 10/4-5, 2008

Hawaii has a very large Chinese community. It has been noted that they form about 1/3 of Hawaii’s entire population if those of mixed descent such as the Hawaiian Chinese are included. Honolulu is also home to a very large and busy Chinatown. There are also numerous Chinese restaurants in Hawaii. Chinese food is a palate pleaser to the majority of the people in Hawaii.

We are fortunate to have the Splendor of China Cultural Festival and Trade Show each year in October. The Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii and Panda Express celebrated the 60th Narcissus Festival's Splendor of China at the Neal Blaisdell Center. There was a general admission fee of $6 and it was well worth it. The festival included the world famous changing face magician, comedians and musicians from Beijing, China and cooking demonstrations by celebrity chef Martin Yan. The cultural festival was perfect for the entire family and consisted of over 130 booths of shopping, food and cultural exhibits. There was a Keiki Corner, a Chinese Dog Show and exotic Chinese food eating contests. And to honor the Narcissus Festival, we had the debut of the Narcissus Festival Pageant contestants as well as the appearance of the reigning Queen and her court.

As we entered the NBC Exhibit Hall the entire mood changed. China had come to Honolulu!

The lion and dragon dance teams wait to perform for the opening ceremony. This tradition is done to ward off bad luck and bring good health and fortune to the people.

Very ornate offerings were arranged near the main stage. Huge steamed buns and fruits. Very colorful, you can tell that red and gold are the lucky colors of the Chinese

And next to the statue of the dragon was the Panda, greeting all the little children.
That’s right, Panda Express is a major sponsor of this event.

And look, this is another Panda booth.

The purpose of this booth was to raise funds to help the pandas and their reserve that was devastated in the Sichuan earthquake in China in May of this year. The earthquake ruined the Panda heartland, Sichuan’s Wolong Research Center, the world’s most important panda reserve. Donations from Honolulu, what a wonderful gesture.

The opening ceremony was honored by the presence of Hawaii’s political leaders and dignitaries representing the Chinese business community. And after the ribbon cutting ceremony…firecrackers, of course!

The dragon and lion dance teams entertained the spectators.
The guests showed their appreciation by feeding dollar bills into the mouths of the dragons and lions in traditional Chinese style.

It was a lot of fun for the dancers and the audience. What an exciting opening event!

And let the Festival begin! I’ve talked about other festivals such as the Aloha Festival and the Okinawan Festival. The culture and traditions of the Chinese people are the focus of this one. So much to share. Lucky we live Hawaii. The melting pot continues to simmer. Our children are able to experience the various cultures of the Hawaiian people due to the efforts and leadership of those who immigrated here. There is so much pride and aloha. Awesome!

The Sing Sing Dance Group of Hawaii performs. Beautiful costumes, so colorful and elegant.

A Tibetan dance performance. The costumes are quite different from those worn in the previous dance.

The leader of the Sing Sing Dance group does a solo. Her movements are so powerful and yet so graceful, definitely acrobatic. Her costume is colorful with so many details.

Sing Sing looks like an anime character.

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