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Hawaii celebrates a Chinese bicentennial.

The Year of the Snake on the Chinese calendar dawns February 6 this year, and in Hawaii the festivities will be especially elaborate. This New Year heralds a yearlong schedule of special cultural events as Hawaii's Chinese community celebrates 200 years in the Islands.

Hawaii's earliest Chinese settlers were crewmen on a British trading ship. Among those who followed, a sugar cane planter set up a mill on Lanai in 1802, some traded sandalwood from 1810 to 1825, and many others became contract laborers on sugar plantations in 1852.

Celebrating a heritage

Events start in Honolulu's Chinatown January 28, when food booths fill Maunakea Street between King and Beretania streets. Singers, dancers, and kung fu experts perform; the street fair runs from 9:30 A.M. to 11:30 PM. During a Chinatown open house (6:30 to 11 PM. February 3) lions will dance in front of open shops to bestow blessings and chase away evil spirits. A lantern parade through Waikiki on Kalakaua Avenue starts at 6 PM. February 18.

Art events begin at the Honolulu Academy of Arts with the first-ever exhibit of 80 works from the imperial collection of Beijing's Palace Museum. The exhibit, through February 12, features paintings and scrolls from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1912) dynasties.

Also at the academy is a concurrent show of paintings by China's top young (under 40) artists. A display of specially trimmed Chinese "crab claw" narcissus bulbs in bloom runs February 4 and 5. And from 6 to 9 Pm. February 11 and 12, 200 handcrafted bamboo and paper lanterns will illuminate a festival exhibit. Academy hours are 10 to 4:30 Tuesdays through Saturdays, 1 to 5 Sundays; free.

Summer brings other outstanding exhibitions and events to Honolulu, starting with a trade show from China May 25 through June 6. Also to visit: dancers, acrobats, and musicians ftom the Shanghai Children's Palace Art Troupe July 7 through 9; Hong Kong Children's Choir July 21 through 23; huge puppets from Guangdong July 29 through August 2; and a trade show from Taiwan with a display of replicas from the National Palace Museum August 17 through 29.

For a calendar of events for all islands, write to Chinese Bicentennial Commission, 84 N. King St., Honolulu 96817.
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Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:Feb 1, 1989
Words:378
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