Hawai’i is a unique place to ring in the new year for all sorts of reasons. For one thing, we’re one of the most western time zones. By the time you read this, it’ll probably be late morning on January 1st, yet we’ll still have a few minutes to go before the clock strikes midnight .
The second, and perhaps more noticeable, feature of Hawai’i is our
insane celebratory use of fireworks. Due in part to our large Chinese population, Hawai’i is one of the loudest places in the world to be on New Year’s Eve. Don’t believe me? Take a look at these firecrackers from 2000 – and no, this isn’t an unusually large amount.
Stories abound in the local papers about New Year’s fires, asthma problems, and attempts to ban fireworks in Hawai’i. Yet the big, illegal fireworks that our civil servants can’t seem to crack down on still go off (like the one that just hit my roof – think Disneyland-sized mortars in residential neighborhoods, folks). There always seems to be a party in the Pacific Ocean that somehow rivals that cute little glass ball in the Big Apple.
There’s a contemporary Hawaiian song that was popular a few years ago… “You can take the boy from the islands, but not the islands from the boy.” I think if I ever moved away, one of the things I’d miss is the explosions on New Year’s Eve. Despite the pain it causes my ears, I think it would be very different not to experience it.
So wherever you are or wherever you may find yourself in 2004, make the most of every opportunity and every situation. May you find peace and joy in all you do, and may you find God’s aloha in every part of your lives.
Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!
(Image courtesy Jon Sullivan.)