Our Islands, Our Future

January 1 will mark not just a new year but will be the first day of the 20’s. Most consider the new decade will actually start in 2021 — the first year A.D was 1 and therefore any year ending in one marks the beginning of a decade.  However, it seems much easier to group the 20’s as a new decade.  How will you celebrate?

There is a tradition to make noise at the stroke of midnight to ‘ring’ in the new year. Enthusiasts will bang drums, ring bells, blow noise horns, sound sirens or simply pop off a champagne cork. This came about in many cultures around the world to chase away evil spirits. Fireworks were invented in the seventh century A.D. in China for that purpose. Here on Maui fireworks are a long-standing feature of New Year’s celebrations; please take care and use legal fireworks during the permitted hours.

In addition to the noisy tradition, it is a time to enjoy special New Year foods.  Japanese families will be gathering for Mochi pounding – the pounding of sweet mochi rice that has been soaked for days to turn into mochi balls. It is a community affair meant to bring peace and prosperity in the New Year.

Sashimi is also a New Year tradition in Hawaii that is believed to bring good luck. If you want an excuse for eating doughnuts, then consider them lucky! Some cultures believe that ring-shaped treats symbolize “coming full circle” which leads to good fortune.

Kissing someone at midnight is not just about showing affection but another respected tradition that brings good luck. It is thought to bring support to someone as they enter the vulnerable transitional period of a new year.

So as you plan to make noise, eat and be merry — Maui Economic Development Board Staff would like to be among the first to wish you “Hau’oli Makahiki Hou” and the very best for 2020 –  Happy New Year!

Maui Economic Development Board Staff would like to be among the first to wish you “Hau‘oli Makahiki Hou.” Happy New Year!