Happy New Year


Chinese lion dance at Daiei Honolulu welcomes customers to the new year.

I’m not one to actively celebrate the arrival of the new year at midnight. Fact is I usually stay home, watch the ball drop at 7 on TV, go to sleep, wake up at 11:45, open my window to watch and listen for the firework pandamonium to break out as it does every year. Precisely at 12 hundreds, perhaps thousands of people in Honolulu lit their fireworks all at once and let the noise loose for a few minutes as Hawaii became the last state in the union to welcome in the new year.

For the last 3 years, my usual thing to do on New Year’s Day morning is to wake up early, drive to Diamond Head lookout and take pictures of the first sunrise for the new year. Out of the 3 years so far, I am batting 1 of 3 sunrises. 2004 was greeted with rain. This morning, 2005 was greeted with a huge, low, gray cloud sealing, no sign on a colorful sunrise to be found. Later today the skies opened up and it just rained, and rained.

Later that morning I ventured for the first time to take in one of those Daiei supermarket new year’s openings. They had a short “sake” ceremony, a strong drink which the store management shared with customers who wished to partake of the liquid. Shortly after that, the fireworks were lit and set off to scare the evil spirits away and finally the Chinese lion dancers graced the small crowd with a noisy, traditional dance that officially welcomes in the new calendar year.

Let’s hope everyone in Hawaii and around the world had a safe and happy new year celebration. Make 2005 special and I am sure we’ll all be happier next year.


Hawaii’s first sunrise of the new year was less than stellar. Photo taken from Diamond Head lookout.

1 Comment so far

  1. Ryan (unregistered) on January 3rd, 2005 @ 6:33 am

    Happy New Year, Mel! Say, did they check IDs for that sake?

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