Thursday, January 1, 2009

Hauoli Makahiki Hou!

Strings and strings of firecrackers...



Popping with reckless abandon...



Lighting up the midnight sky...



Air quality and visibility from the fireworks, extremely poor. This picture was taken at midnight, at a time where everyone sets off their best and loudest fireworks to usher in the New Year and to chase away the evil spirits. Look closely in the upper left corner for a white rectangle. That is my neighbors garage door. We are separated by a street that is less than 10 yards wide and you can barely tell that there is a house there. It is tradition in Hawaii to set off fireworks, despite the awful air pollution caused by it. There is a growing concern and movement to ban it completely and you can see why.



There are many New Year's rituals that take place here in the islands due it our extreme cultural mixes. Bamboo and pine at the entrance of our home welcome the spirits of our ancestors(one of hubbie's Japanese traditions).


Kagami Mochi, another one of hubbies traditions, is an offering consisting of 2 sweet glutinous rice patties topped with a tangerine.



The holiday's bring on a slew of emotion for me. My Chinese grandfather passed away over 30 years ago, right before the holidays. He celebrated New Years like no other and I truly believe it was his favorite holiday. As children, no matter where we were in the house, the loud burst of firecrackers would have each grandchild racing to the front of the house to greet Grandpa. You see, the popping of firecrackers was my Grandpa's sign to his family that he had arrived at the party. In true form, he'd have armfuls of fireworks to hand out to each of his grandchildren. The holiday's following his death were difficult and we had a period of no celebration simply because it was too hard without him. To this day, on New Years Eve, the first sound of firecrackers still make me believe, in my heart, that Grandpa has arrived. It never fails to bring a smile to my face.

I wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year!


Aloha!

9 comments:

Jackie said...

Happy New Year, Lettie! You have some wonderful traditions and very fond memories. I hope this coming year brings lots of new memories and joy for you and your family.

Stephanie D. said...

What a rich heritage you have! I'll bet it makes your grandfather happy to see a fireworks-induced smile on your face now; such a nice memory of him.

I don't think I heard a single firecracker last night. But come the 4th of July--holy moly!

Threeundertwo said...

Happy New Year! What a very sweet memory of your grandfather, and I'm sure it's true, that he does arrive and smile on your festivities.

Amy said...

Happy New Year, Lettie....here's wishing you abundant blessings in 2009!
Amy

sweetiepie said...

Lettie, what lovely traditions your Grandfather started and what nice memories you have of him.

Have a great, creative New Year!

Carrie P. said...

Happy New Year to you. Isn't it odd how different things in our life bring back memories. You have some great ones of your grandpa.

Catherine said...

Happy New Year, Lettie! Wonderful memories you have -- and traditions.

Suze said...

Letty,
"Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu"

Lorraine said...

It's good that the traditions have good memories too - even if it makes us miss our loved ones more. Happy New Year!