Chinese New Year in Hilo, 1890.

[Found under: “NA MEA HOU O HILO”]

Konohi Day of the Chinese.

The new year of the Chinese began on this past Monday, and the activities of the boys of China were worthy of great admiration.

On Tuesday, the 27th, Nailima held a konohi party at his residence, to celebrate the birthday of his beloved daughter, and there were many who were invited.

When they were ready to eat, there rose a disturbance between the home owner and some people who were bedecked with the delicacies of the konohi day; the people split up and fled and some of their voices had become slurred because they were drowsy on “the chilly waters of the dew,” and the glory of the day became as of naught.

I will stop here. Yours truly,

Henry L. Kauanoano.

Waiakea, Hilo, Jan. 22, 1890.

(Kuokoa, 2/8/1890, p. 3)

Ka La Konohi o na Pake.

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke XXIX, Helu 6, Aoao 3. Feberuari 8, 1890.

Chinese New Year, 1929.


Just as usual with the Chinese people, they will again this year, celebrate their one important day of the year known by them as the Konohi day.

These past years however, they have split up and some of them celebrate the day we celebrate, that being the 1st of January, while some celebrate their day from ancient times. It is a day when some of our people go quickly about celebrating the konohi at houses of the Chinese, and they are a welcoming people to those who visit their homes on that day.

There is but one humbug thing about that day, that is they do not sleep that night and wake up everyone with their sounding off fireworks from night to day, and it is bad for those who have to go work the next day.

¹China is referred to in Hawaiian as the “Aina Pua,” or the “Flower Land.”

(Alakai o Hawaii, 2/14/1929, p. 2)


Ke Alakai o Hawaii, Buke 1, Helu 42, Aoao 2. Pepeluali 14, 1929.

Chinese New Year, 1911.


This coming Friday, February 7th, is the Happy New Year Day and Konohi of the Chinese. The Bow Wong Wui, the Chinese Reform Society is preparing to give on that day a great feast, and on that same day, some leaders of the group will give speeches on the reason for separating themselves from the leadership of China’s traditional government. However, it would seem that there will not be as grand a commemoration as the previous year because of the difficulty in obtaining funds now.

(Aloha Aina, 1/11/1907, p. 7)


Ke Aloha Aina, Buke VIII, Helu 2, Aoao 7. Ianuari 11, 1902.

More the celebrating the better? 1915.

[Found under: “Na Kuhinia o ka Manawa.”]

The celebration [hi’uwai] of the people of China [Aina Pua] is approaching, but perhaps there will only be a few because New Years was celebrated by some Chinese on this past New Years Day.

[Konohi is the lunar calendar new year. It probably comes from the Hawaiianization of the Chinese Kung Hei as in Kun Hei Fat Choi (恭喜發財).]

(Aloha Aina, 2/6/1915, p. 3

Ke hookokoke mai nei...

Ke Aloha Aina, Buke XIX, Helu 71, Aoao 3. Feberuari 6, 1915.

Chinese New Year song in Lahaina, 1866.

[Found under: “Ka Happy New Year o na Pake”]

Iolidane:—Tahiti Tune.

1 La hauoli a pomaikai,
No ka lahui o Kina,
Ti ka char sow san nin fat choi
No ka makahiki hou,
Hape Nuia. Hape Nuia &co
E na makamaka nei.

2 Ke hui mai nei na kalepa
O ko Kina poe gentlemen,
Me ka lakou mau ladies no
A hauoli hoomaikai,
Ti ka kon hi. Ti ka kon hi, &co
And san nin Tat-i.

3 Na makua o keia hui
Me na keiki a lakou,
A pomaikai na mea a pau
Keia makahiki hou,
Choi tan qui sow. Choi tan qui sow
Hooili ia lakou.

4 Na ke Akua ma ka lani
Nana e hoomaikai mai
O keia hui ko Kina poe
E noho ma Hawaii nei,
Haleluia. Haleluia
No ka Haku ola mau.

5 Na Keonimana me na Lady
E aloha kakou a pau,
No ko kakou olioli,
Ka la nu Lahui o Kina,
Huro kakou! Huro kakou!!
A hauoli pu.

[Jordan [?]:—Tahiti Tune.
1 Joyous and blessed day,
For the Chinese people,
Ti ka char sow san nin fat choi
For the new year,
Happy New Year. Happy New Year &co
O Friends here.
2 The merchants have gathered
Of China’s gentlemen,
Along with their ladies
And blessed happiness
Ti ka kon hi. Ti ka kon hi, &co
And sun nin Tat-i.
3 The elders of this group
Along with their children,
Blessed is everyone
This new year,
Choi tan qui sow. Choi tan qui sow.
Onto them.
4 It is God in heaven
Who will bless them
This group of China’s people
Living in Hawaii nei,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
For the eternal Lord.
5 The Gentlemen and Ladies
Aloha amongst all of us,
For our joy,
The holiday of the Chinese people,
Hurrah to us! Hurrah to us!!
And happiness too.]

This song was composed by one of these Chinese; S. P. Ahiong is his name, and he is the director in the playing of the Seraphim [Selapina], and he holds Seraphim concerts in the Wainee Church in Lahaina until today, and it may be something novel to see for those who are into new things; seeing this skilled Chinese singer, he probably has no match amongst all the Chinese who have come to Hawaii nei. After this song, Rev. D. Baldwin gave a prayer and the banquet started with much calm; all of the respected haole of that Calm land which aloha has put forth, along with our Governor [Paulo Nahaolelua] who came by….

[This is just a portion of a much larger article describing the new year celebration in Lahaina. There are more mele!]

(Kuokoa, 3/3/1866, p. 4)


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke V, Helu 9, Aoao 4. Maraki 3, 1866.


The sound of the firecrackers of the Chinese was deafening. and Ulakoheo was festive with the din of the sound of the corrugated iron [? pa piula] of their Band. When you look, their ears are enjoying the joyous strains of the instruments that sound like the squeal of the block of the ship Kilauea, when it encounters sudden gusts of winds outside of Mahukona and those places. The Chinese New Year [konohi] yesterday was a day of much fun for them, and they are wishing a happy new year these days.

(Lahui Hawaii, 1/27/1876, p. 3)

Wawalo paiakuli ka leo...

Ka Lahui Hawaii, Buke II, Helu 5, Aoao 3. Ianuari 27, 1876.

Chinese New Year. Sunday, February 18, 1912.


The people of China were finely adorned as they celebrated their New Year; the Chinese were seen from Friday, going to the shops of their own countrymen to purchase new year’s items, from the day until evening, and purchasing all sorts of flowers, like crown flower, koniako [?]³, chrysanthemum, and some other blossoms to decorated their tables.

When the hands of the clock reached the point where the year staggered away and the New Year was born, the popping sounds of the firecrackers reverberated along with their huge pu ie [some kind of shooting firework?]⁴ on Nuuanu Avenue between the streets of King and Hotel. Amidst that popping along with the deafening huge pu ie that were lined up straight in a row; as the Chinese of the shops in the area were lighting those huge pu ie, one of the pu ie went off and flew straight through the entrance of the hat shop of Uyeda on the Ewa side, and broke the glass without this misfortune being noticed while the activities were going on, and it was with the coming of day that this damage was discovered by someone, and seen also was the ie of that pu ie lying on the floor. The one good thing was that the ie that went inside was not on fire, if not there would have been a “side dish” to the new year of the Chinese, a house fire.

¹”Konohi” is the Hawaiian word for Chinese New Year, coming from “kong-hee” [恭喜]…
²Aina Pua [Land of Flowers] is a poetic name for China.
³I don’t know what kind of flower a “koniako” is.
⁴I have yet to find out exactly what type of firework a “pu ie” is.

(Kuokoa Home Rula, 1/23/1912, p. 1)


Kuokoa Home Rula, Buke X, Helu 8, Aoao 1. Feberuari 23, 1912.