Gathering: Festival Donation Booklet

Relationship: unknown
Spring festival booklet of donations to the Wo Hing Society of Lahaina in Maui, Hawaii, 1916. Courtesy of Wo Hing Museum and Cookhouse/Lahaina Restoration Foundation.
Spring festival booklet of donations to the Wo Hing Society of Lahaina in Maui, Hawaii, 1916. Courtesy of Wo Hing Museum and Cookhouse/Lahaina Restoration Foundation.

The Chinese societies of Maui were benevolent, social, cultural and religious organizations. As such, they celebrated the traditional festivals of the homeland. This document is a festival booklet from the Wo Hing Society of Lahaina in Maui, Hawaii. It is written in an old form of Chinese calligraphy that is not easily understood today. We do know, however, that it is a record of donations for a Spring festival celebrated in 1916 at the Wo Hing Society Hall.

The Lahaina Restoration Foundation and the Wo Hing Society are currently preserving and translating over 2000 historic documents. Approximately 180 of these refer to Chinese cultural and religious events. The society celebrated seventeen separate cultural events, including Chinese New Year, Moon Festival, Ching-Ming, Chong Yang (Ancestors Day), and summer, autumn, winter and spring season festivals.

Dating from 1906 to 1990, these documents not only give us a historic snapshot of Chinese culture in Maui, but also act to renew modern interest in celebrating the various festivals of the Chinese lunar year. This collection is especially important as very few primary sources about the history of the Chinese on Maui have survived.

This object was featured in the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA)'s exhibit, "Gathering: Collecting and Documenting Chinese American History," October 17, 2019 - March 22, 2020.

Place(s): Lahaina, HI
Year: 1916

– Lahaina Restoration Foundation and the Wo Hing Society

Relationship:  unknown unknown