This post is more about the pictures and video (above). I spent the day in downtown Hilo enjoying the festivities. Things started off with The Lion Dance & Blessings. It started by the Kress Building and moved along the sidewalk blessing Hana Hou, Sig Zane Designs, Koehnen's Interiors and ending at Na Makua Original Hawaiian Designs. Along the way, merchants offered red envelopes to the audience and they were encouraged to put money in the envelopes and then feed the lion with the envelopes. The lions would sometimes pretend to "eat" the hands of the people giving offerings too. This is a grueling ordeal for the Lion Dancers and they cleverly switched teams during the dance so that there were always two Lions dancing but so that everyone got a rest too. The fun moved on from there to the Cultural Center and Kalakaua Park where tents & a huge stage were set up.
The park had a row of food booths, the "typical suspects" as they said in Casablanca. There was a Chili and Stew booth, a Thai Booth, 2 Shave Ice Booths, the Portuguese Booth and an Indian Booth. Now, let's think about this... WHERE is the Chinese Food??? Not at this festival! Go figure!
What they lacked in Chinese Food, they made up for in goods. There were lots of booths with Chinese New Year Decorations as well as imported clothing and jewelry from China. There were also Tibetan Prayer Flags (my vote for the best item) and lots of crafts and things for sale by local crafts people.
The music and fun were going full tilt with a Keiki Chinese Costume Contest, Food demos by the HCC Culinary Arts Program, Thai Chi and Qigong demos, Ben Kali and Friends Music and then ... it started raining!
And the palm weaver always shows up! Notice the hanging hearts he made on the right.
But by the time I made it home, there was a special treat waiting for me, a Double Rainbow spanning Hilo Bay! See below...