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Waikiki prepares to celebrate the Year of the Sheep

Chinese New York begins Feb. 19, and Waikiki's Royal Hawaiian Center is prepared to celebrate

Waikiki’s centerpiece shopping center plans to welcome Chinese New Year with a variety of events and promotions in the second half of February.

The Year of the Sheep begins Feb. 19, and the Royal Hawaiian Center is set to celebrate with an evening of entertainment. At 5 p.m., organizers said, the sound of firecrackers will reverberate through the mall in a ceremony intended to ward off evil spirits.

Members of the Lung Kong Physical Culture Club will then perform a traditional lion dance, they said, with dancers starting at the Royal Grove meeting place before moving from store to store.

Other scheduled activities include lantern-making classes from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Feb. 17 and from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 22. Classes are limited to the first 20 people who register by email: info@royalhawaiiancenter.com.

Shoppers who spend $250 on a single day between Feb. 15 and 28 can participate in the Chinese tradition of receiving a red “lisee” envelope. Each envelope will contain a prize, such as gift cards and mall-branded merchandise, organizers said.

More than 42% of Honolulu County’s nearly 1 million residents are of Asian descent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Downtown Honolulu is home to a Chinatown retail district and the Kuan Yin Chinese temple.

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