In 1949, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce devised a way to rebuild trade and public image of Chinese in Hawaii. The Narcissus Festival was initially tied to the Lunar New Year celebrations due to the narcissus flower being an auspicious symbol of rebirth and good fortune. It has since grown into a full-length festival stretching over the entire Spring season that provides events to the community such as Chinese New Year celebrations in the heart of Chinatown, fashion shows, banquets, and more.
The festival’s purpose is to preserve and showcase Chinese art and culture, while promoting local and international commerce. All contestants develop personal and professional skills through a rigorous yet fun filled curriculum of cultural classes taught by members of the Chinese community considered to be pillars of knowledge in their respective industries.
The festival culminates in an annual goodwill tour wherein the queen and her court travel to various cities in mainland China and act as cultural ambassadors for the state of Hawai’i. These women are chosen to be representatives of Hawaii Chinese culture and carry out their duties with poise, intellect, and strong morals throughout their reign.