New Year’s Traditions in Hawaii to get all that positive energy going this 2020!
While Hawaii residents may hold to New Year’s traditions like singing “Auld Lang Syne” and setting off fireworks, the state’s diverse ethnic cultures ring in the New Year with foods considered to bring good luck. Traditions and superstitions range from Japanese mochi pounding for good luck to Filipino Pancit consumption to grant a long life.
#1 Fireworks to scare off evil spirits
It all started in China back in the seventh century and has become a worldwide phenomenon. Hawaii residents LOVE fireworks. Maybe too much. The widespread use of firecrackers was a bit overwhelming for the Millennium celebration, so regulations were put in place to help limit the amount we can set off.
Want to see some? The midnight fireworks show at Waikiki Beach draws upwards of 100,000 visitors every year. Fiery aerial designs of palm trees, colorful strobes, and sparkling fan formations delight onlookers as they ring in the new year.
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#2 Mochi Pounding
Mochi rice pounding is done the old fashioned way with a big wooden hammer called an usu. Mochi is a type of Japanese rice cake made with sticky rice that is repeatedly pounded. Making mochi requires at least two people, one person to mercilessly pound the rice and another to roll and wet it to the right consistency. It's hand molded into mounded patties which are symbols of good luck for the New Year.
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#3 First Day Hike
Greet New Year’s Day with a glorious sunrise hike at the Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline. As part of America’s State Parks’ annual event, thousands across the United States start the new year on the right foot with an early morning hike to the Makapu‘u Point Lighthouse. Watch the moon set and the sun rise with hundreds of others who partake in the event every year.
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#4 Eating Sashimi for good luck
Japanese for sliced raw fish, most typically tuna or ahi, sashimi is easily the most popular “Good Luck” food that locals must have to help celebrate the New Year. Demand for sashimi-grade ahi is so great that sometimes the price skyrockets to as much as $40 per pound just before New Year’s. It’s not just a Japanese tradition anymore. It’s become so popular that almost everyone seems to enjoy the tradition. That and it’s delicious, so any excuse to eat sashimi is a good one.
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#5 Fukubukuro (Lucky Bag)
Another Japanese New Year tradition that has become popular here in Hawaii. Merchants make grab bags filled with unknown random contents and sell them for a substantial discount, usually 50% or more off the list price of the items contained within (all sales are final). It gets more and more popular every year, and we have a LOT of sales going on this year at some of our most popular shopping centers like Ala Moana Center, International Market Place, and Royal Hawaiian Center.
#6 Large family gatherings at the beach
Average winter temperature is a sunny 78 degrees, and the ocean is 74 degrees as well, which makes this the perfect place to ring in the New Year at the beach. We know it. You know. And thats how this because a NY's Tradition. The most popular beach for locals in New Years is Ala Moana Beach Park.
#7 Filipino Pancit
Pancit comes in two varieties: pancit bihon (long-rice-style) and pancit kanton (chow-mein-style).
Merging Chinese traditional cooking with Filipino flavors, it is believed to attract wealth, health, and long life. Since it was introduced by Chinese traders during the Spanish colonial era, pancit has become a staple on every Filipino family’s dining table, especially for special occasion, and this tradition has sipped into Hawaii culture too. How wouldn't want to be granted a long life?
What traditions do you carry with you in this time of year? We would love to know!
...Happy New Year!
Hope you all ring in 2020 with Love, Happiness and Health.