Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Year's Day Activities

Blessing LineWe started out the New Year by visiting a Shinto temple (Daijingyu Temple) just north of the Honolulu area to participate in a traditional New Year's blessing. The temple provides blessings for the new year starting at the stroke of midnight and going until the afternoon of the first. We went in the morning to avoid the huge crowd at midnight, and it was still busy. Parking was non-existent, but fortunately Dianne knew the area well since she lived pretty close when in grade school. We parked away from the traffic and walked a couple blocks to the temple. The first photo here shows part of the line leading to the entrance of the temple.

Fortunes Left BehindIt's a long standing Japanese tradition in Hawaii. You can read more about the temple and the tradition here. There are also some better pictures of the temple in the article -- I didn't want to take pictures of the blessing. Incidentally, I got an excellent fortune and we bought a few blessed items for traffic and personal safety in the coming year. If you didn't like your fortune you could tie it to a tree outside the temple and get another. In the photo here you can see the bits of paper tied to the tree (as usual, click on it to see a larger version in Flickr). The fortunes are quite long and elaborate.

There is a park next to the temple that had several large trees including a large banyon tree. You see them all over Oahu, but they are usually surrounded by buildings or wires. This one has such a nice setting I had to get a shot -- even though it was towards the sun. It's hard to appreciate how big it is, so Dianne volunteered to stand next to it for scale. That little blue spec by the trunk is her.

Bambucha Banyon

Di Ready To SailAfter getting our blessing, we stopped at the Aloha Tower Marketplace near downtown Honolulu for lunch. Right next to the marketplace is the Maritime Museum. The museum was closed, but we stopped to look at the ships docked on the pier outside the museum. The photo shows Dianne standing on a huge brass propeller in the park next to the pier. In the background is one of the older sailing ships.

The water at the pier was crystal clear and very deep. Dianne looked into the water and saw all sorts of fish. Some of them were pretty big -- at least a couple feet long. There are fish food dispensers on the pier, so we bought some food to feed them. It was quite a frenzy. Click here to see a photo of the fish.

We looked around a bit at the marketplace. Around the facility they have several statues of hula girls. I really like this photo of Dianne joining in the hula dance with one of the statues. So cute!

Joining the Hula Dancer

No comments: