How to Still Celebrate the Lunar New Year Plus 4 of the Best Things to Do on O‘ahu in February 2021

If the first month of 2021 wasn’t what you hoped, reset with the Lunar New Year on Feb. 12. Here are a few ways to celebrate the Year of the Ox.



Sending Regards

Picks Stamps




The Year of the Ox-inspired stamp launches on Feb. 2 so you can ward off Christmas card withdrawal with a new year note. Send a friend a lai see for good luck and check the U.S. Postal Service schedule to see when this year’s Go For Broke stamps will be released.




Chinatown Crawl

Hn1902 Dc Chinesenewyear 0061

Photo: David Croxford



The Night in Chinatown hasn’t happened since it was abruptly canceled in 2018. However, shops are still open and crowds, albeit smaller than in years past, will still flood in to pick up jai ingredients, whole fish, brown bricks of sugar for gau and sweets. Go to Sing Cheong Yuan (1027 Maunakea St.) for the biggest selection of candied fruits and vegetables sold by the pound from rows of plastic bins. Walk a few blocks down King Street to Yat Tung Chow Noodle Factory (150 N. King St.) for paper-wrapped bundles of fresh wonton wrappers—bigger, thicker ones for frying; thinner, more supple ones for soup—gyoza and mandoo skins, and a variety of noodles. We bet you’ll still find a lion or two chasing away evil spirits.




Soup It Up

Aieaoxtail Martha

Photo: Martha Cheng



You’ve already had the after holiday-feast jook, so honor the ox with a bowl of oxtail soup during the coldest month of the year in Hawai‘i. Sure, there is the old-school Kam Bowl vs. Kapi‘olani Coffee Shop battle (which Frolic Hawai‘i, our digital dining voice, says Kapi‘olani Coffee Shop wins), but don’t miss out on the lip-smacking, collagen-rich broth at ‘Aiea Bowl.


SEE ALSO: Hawai‘i Comfort Food: Oxtail Soup


February Events



Virtual Great Aloha Run

We don’t suggest you try racing from Aloha Tower to Aloha Stadium along the usual path, unless you have a fast track to a personal police escort. But you do have eight days to complete the 8-mile run in mid-February. Last day to register is Feb. 8 with runners or walkers crossing the virtual finish line by Feb. 15., @greataloharun


Tag us in your Instagram posts with #LuckyWeLiveHONOLULU for a chance to be featured online!



Hawai‘i Contemporary Art Summit

The Honolulu Biennial has gone triennial. Fill the gap year with global artists in streaming on-demand workshops and sessions Feb. 10–13. On our must-see list: Ai Weiwei, the Chinese critic called the most powerful artist in the world by ArtReview magazine; Chicago installation artist Theaster Gates; and the local creatives of ‘Elepaio Press and Piliamo‘o.




Honolulu African American Film Festival

The 10th year of this festival comes just as we’re craving diverse voices more than ever. From Feb. 26–28, you can stream discussions, performances and films never before seen in Hawai‘i.




Great Whale Count

There may be more space for you to set up your lawn chair this year. Register to join smaller, spread out groups of volunteers to count humpback whales in Hawai‘i waters on Jan. 30, Feb. 27 and March 27.



This story originally appeared as “February Picks” in the February 2021 issue of HONOLULU Magazine. Get your copy at and subscribe to the print and digital editions now.


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