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The 19th Annual Honolulu Festival
Exhibits, Craft Fair and Other Events

March, 2013

The 19th Annual Honolulu Festival was once again busy this year with people lining up at the entrance of the Hawaii Convention Center from its starting time of 10:00 a.m. on March 2 (Saturday) and March 3 (Sunday), 2013. Many people came to watch the performances, and also to enjoy the many exhibits, craft fair, Ennichi, Cosplay Cafe, Bon Dance (Bon Odori), the movie presentations and buy the Made in Hawaii products.

Half of the allotted convention center area was dedicated to the various exhibits and crafts. The booths were set up by representatives from Hawaii, Taiwan, Japan and other Pacific Rim countries. Each booth was decorated creatively, each very with unique. It was difficult to pass any booth without stopping and taking a serious look at them. The booth from Niigata Prefecture's Nagaoka City displayed their amazing fireworks and their local sake (rice wine). A couple from Canada was excited to taste Japanese sake for the very first time. A huge model of the real Nagaoka fireworks attracted the attention of all the people passing by. Many looked intensely into the crevices of the fireworks that were packed with gunpowder. It was difficult to imagine that these dull looking fireworks would create such colorful and beautiful works of art once they were shot up in the skies. These Nagaoka fireworks would be displayed on the last day of the Honolulu Festival in Waikiki and would impress and "wow" many spectators.

Nagaoka fireworks from Niigata Prefecture
The more you learned about the Nagaoka fireworks, how it is made, how heavy they are and how large they are when shot up in the sky, the more amazed you will be.
Couple from Canada
It was the very first time for this couple from Canada to taste Japanese sake. "It definitely tastes different from the wine we usually drink," said the couple.

The booths for Made in Hawaii products are always a very popular part of the annual Honolulu Festival. Many of these products are organically made or lack preservatives. Many are also handmade and original. You can't find some of these products anywhere else depending on what it is. And who knows, you may find something that suits your palate during the tasting! Yum… Ono!

Made in Hawaii products
The popular Made in Hawaii products
Made in Hawaii products
All their products, such as the peanut butter and lilikoi butter, are handmade.
Hawaii feather leis
The ladies demonstrate how to make Hawaii feather leis, a tradition that has been preserved since the days of Hawaiian royalty.
bamboo percussion instrument from Taiwa
An attempt to learn how to play the bamboo percussion instrument from Taiwan. Looks a bit difficult.
Cosplay Cafe
The Cosplay Cafe was once again very popular this year.
Origami lessonsThe Origami lessons were enjoyed by both the children and the adults.
art exhibition
A display of artwork created by the people of Hawaii.
Hawaii Fukuoka Kenjinkai
The local associations of Japan prefectures also participated in the Honolulu Festival.

The biggest news of the Honolulu Festival's Bon Dance this year was the debut of the Honolulu Festival Yagura (scaffold) created specifically for the Bon Odori event. Now that the Honolulu Festival Bon Dance has become an annual event, a beautiful scaffold that would do Honolulu Festival proud was built right in the middle of Ennichi Corner. And after the official Honolulu Festival Yagura (scaffold) ribbon cutting ceremony, many folks circled the beautiful yagura and began to dance to the beat of the taiko.

The Ennichi booths circled the Bon Odori Yagura. The stalls included kingyo sukui (fish scooping game) and water balloon yoyo, games that are always part of Ennichi in Japan. Other games such as pop gun and ring toss, about ten in total, were enjoyed by the many children that came to play at Ennichi Corner. Traditional Japanese games such as Kendama (cup-and-ball game) and koma (top) were also introduced to the children. These games are no longer played by even the children of Japan. It was great for the children of Hawaii to be able to experience these old games of Japan by mimicking how it is done. Not easy games to do, the children challenged themselves over and over again.

Honolulu Festival Yagura Ceremony
The official ribbon cutting ceremony for the Honolulu Festival Yagura.
Bon Odori
Bon Odori around the new yagura
fish scooping game
The technique of successfully catching the fish is to gently scoop with the paper net when the fish swims near the surface of the water.
fish scooping game
Mom and son, originally from Sri Lanka and currently living in Hawaii, experience fish scooping for the very first time. Looks like they did great!
Ennichi Corner
A typical example of an old traditional Japanese toy, kendama. It looks easy but actually it's quite difficult.
Ennichi Corner
The Ennichi Corner was busier this year than previous years. It was much like being at a Summer Festival in Japan.

One of the great things about the Honolulu Festival is being able to meet people from different parts of the world. Those that worked the booths and those that came to visit the booths have the opportunity to connect. It's amazing that you are able to communicate with a smile and enjoy each other's company, even if you are strangers, and even if you can't speak to each other in a common language. The Honolulu Festival is a magical event and is enjoyed by children, adults and people from all over the world.

19th Annual Honolulu Festival Photo Gallery19th Annual Honolulu Festival Photo Gallery

Pictures from the 19th Annual Honolulu Festival. Please share your photos with us!

[ facebook photo album ]

The 19th Annual Honolulu Festival Reports
Educational School Tours
Performance Stage
Exhibits, Craft Fair and Other Events
The Grand Parade
Friendship Gala
Featured Events of the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami


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