Lions, firecrackers and crowds celebrate Chinese New Year

Kent Kam (in blue shirt) and Robyn Kam (in white shirt)
Kent Kam (in blue shirt) and Robyn Kam (in white shirt)
Ryder Kam
Ryder Kam
Kira Leong & her baby girl
Kira Leong & her baby girl
Tanner Tollefsen
Tanner Tollefsen

By Ben Gutierrez - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The air was filled with smoke and the sounds of firecrackers, drums and cymbals as thousands of people gathered for the "I Love Chinatown" Festival in Honolulu Friday night. It was part of Choy Chang, the night when lion dancers visit various shops around Chinatown, bringing them good luck for the Chinese New Year of the Rabbit.

The lions would eat cabbages or other greens hung above the doorways of the different shops, in the hopes of bringing a prosperous year. The crowds came to feed the lions, too, to bring good luck.

Prosperity seemed to be on the minds of many who came to the festival.

When asked what he wanted for the new year, Kent Kam replied, "Just good health, lots of prosperity."

"Money would be nice," added Kam's wife, Robyn.

Ten year-old Tanner Tollefsen said he had been to every Chinese New Year festival since he was one year old, because his birthday falls at about the same time. Why does he like it so much? "It's loud," Tanner said.

The crowds are expected to return again Saturday, for the Night in Chinatown Parade.

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