Dance of the dragon

HANALEI — Dancers dressed in red- and gold-adorned dragon costumes danced boisterously throughout Hanalei’s Ching Young Village Saturday afternoon, accepting dollar donations from passersby and shopkeepers who dropped their offerings into the dragons’ mouths.

Michael Ching, property manager of the iconic North Shore shopping center, said the Honolulu-based Hawaii Lion Dance Association was invited to Hanalei to celebrate the mid-autumn Moon Festival.

This year’s Moon Festival, an important holiday in the Chinese and Vietnamese cultures, is today.

The holiday celebrates gathering, praying and thanksgiving. In China, it is celebrated with a two-day public holiday.

“It’s the second-biggest celebration in the Chinese culture,” Ching said. “This is like our Thanksgiving.”

The dragons danced down the aisles of Big Save, gobbling up dollar offerings from keiki who hesitantly dropped them into the dragons’ mouths.

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