Christmastime in Hawaii! People have snapped up the sashimi-grade tuna and poke like mad, like usual. There's a shortage this year, which has put a damper on tradition. The fishery has been closed on big eye tuna to long liners. People will be stuck with less traditional fare this year like marlin or ham or turkey or tofurkey.
Besides tuna, there's also the annual holiday run on bamboo. It is Japanese custom to create a tiered, bamboo vase for the new year. Bamboo brings luck and prosperity. I'm surrounded by it, or at least I drive through a thicket of it nearly every day. So far, the luck and prosperity have been slow in coming. That said, it's Christmas and people are want to believe. So they ravage local bamboo forest, whacking it with gusto along the road's edge. Nobody cares much. It grows back quickly.
Mochi pounding is another New Year's ritual. Rice is pulverized in giant mortar bowls into fine flour. This is accomplished with great effort and the weighty assistance of heavy logs. It looks like a workout. Mochi flour makes tasty candy and cakes, chewy, springy and sweet.
Sweets. Ah, my teeth are aching. Love Christmas!
Merry Christmas! Happy New Year.
Mele Kalikimaka! Hou'oli makahiki hou!