One of the things that I enjoy most about Maui is the tremendous blend of cultural traditions on the island. In addition to Polynesian and European influences, there are a variety of Asian cultural traditions that are continued on Maui. The island’s plantation agriculture drew people from Korea, Japan, the Philippines and China.
Today, the Green Banana Cafe in Paia is highlighting the cultural traditions of China and the Chinese New Year with a Lion Dance. The Lion Dance is traditionally one of the more exciting events of Chinese New Year Celebrations. The dance is performed by two separate dancers with one at the head and one at the tail of the lion. The dance is skilled and takes considerable practice to execute the movements and give the lion a life like quality. The dance is usually performed accompanied by drums, cymbals and occasionally fireworks. Lion Dances are thought to bring good luck to the homes and businesses where they are held. The Green Banana will be conducting their own lion dance at 5:00 PM today.