Happy New Year Day of the Chinese.
Today, the 25th of January, will be celebrated by all the Chinese, as the first day of their new year.
Sometimes the first day of their new year begins in January, and sometimes in February, because the way they reckon their years is by the orbiting of the moon, and therefore, some years they have twelve months, and some years they have thirteen; and the years they have thirteen months, is a bit like our reckoning.
We are told that in the towns of their Land, on the day before the new moon of their new year, there is a great procession on the streets and at the Eastern Gates, where the Sun rises, for their towns are secured by tall stone walls. Where the people gather outside of the wall, they build an altar and upon it they place offerings, candles, and wine [?? waina]—the Leader of the Procession kneels three times, and knocks his head nine times, along with other religious practices of theirs; that is their celebration of new year.
What they do every new year is broken down into five parts below:
Offerings to the Sun and the Earth—the worshiping of family gods—the worshiping of those who died and the ancestors—bowing before their living parents and other elders, and celebrating because of the new year.
Adults, when they visit their friends, they are given tea to drink and watermelon seeds to eat. The Chinese do not eat meat on the first day of the year, and eat food that grows from the land that beautifies the heavens and earth. And the poor, when they enter houses and give their greetings, they ask for sweets or other food. They close their Shops for some days in their own Lands. When the Chinese go to foreign Lands, the poor continue to perform the work of their parents, and they certainly never go without honoring the new year.
Amongst us here in Hawaii nei, there are many of those people, and it is their holiday. This is a lahui that does not worship Jehovah, the one true God, but they have many gods; they burn a lot of paper to them, which is the scent which carries their prayers.
Those Chinese are numerous who live amongst us, they are in many classes.
We hope that these Chinese soon understand the truth, by learning and believing in the Christian People, and they will stand equally as fine kamaaina amongst us, and not help those who follow the ways of their land.
Happy new year to you, and have a good new year.
[This year, the year of the dog begins on 2/16 (Friday). Let’s hope that that is the beginning of a good year!]
(Kuokoa, 1/25/1868, p. 3)
Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke VII, Helu 4, Aoao 3. Ianuari 25, 1868.