Hawaiian New Year’s – Share
Music; Ambience: Hawaiian music
With the advent of the new year, we may find ourselves reflecting on celebrations of New Year’s past. For someone who grew up in Hawaii, New Year’s was a time to observe ancient family rituals and share in the heritage of his island neighbors. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.
“I grew up in Hawaii during the fifties.”
Pulse of the Planet listener Myles Tanaka.
“I’m of Japanese descent. My grandparents came to Hawaii in the early 19-teens.”
Others had come to Hawaii from Philippines, China, Korea and Portugal, and for these people of varied cultures and religions, New Year’s became a holiday that they could all share.
“Around New Year’s was a time when we were able to sample a lot of the different foods from other cultures, like Portuguese bean soup, the Filipinos had pork adobo, the Chinese had the different kinds of dumplings. It was a wonderful time to sample.”
The Chinese tradition of fireworks also became an important part of Hawaii’s New Year’s Eve — the streets filling with the noise of thousands of firecrackers and the thick smoke of gunpowder. But many in the Japanese-Hawaiian community also celebrated New Year’s with the ancient traditions of Japan.
“After Christmas, my parents would get these bamboo and pine boughs that would be tied to the bottom of the stair that led up to the front door. And that was used to bring in good luck and to ward off evil spirits. It was called the kadomatsu.”
We’ll hear more about New Year’s in Hawaii, in our next program. To hear about our new CD, please visit pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.