This is an independent blog. Please note that I am nowhere near fluent, and that these are not translations, but merely works in progress. Please do comment if you come across misreads or anything else you think is important.
When the hour hand was nearly at 12 midnight this past Tuesday, it was the time when the previous year was disappearing and the new year appearing for the Chinese. The town was noisy with the deafening sound of popping firecrackers. It was as if there was a great battle being waged. And at the edges of town where the Chinese lived, there was the deafening sound of the firecrackers going off without rest, and it continued until the previous year faded away and we came into this new year. They were perhaps happy to have this year. But should they be Hawaiians, they would be intent upon porose.*
On Wednesday morning, the Chinese were seen visiting houses here and there, giving their happy new year greetings to their friends, and they opened their hearts to all who visited their homes. There were many haole and Hawaiians who went and celebrated konohi at their friends’ and they were welcomed nicely.
At the Chinese Consulate there was held a great reception and the band was there bringing honor to the Chinese New Year. That day of the Chinese was truly peaceful; there was no rioting. On the days of Chinese New Year, there was gambling held at their homes. And some were filled with all ethnicities.
*Not sure what “porose/porese” might refer to. …a ina paha no na Hawaii aia ma ka porose ko lakou hooikaika.
Genial showers are falling, the cane is growing, the mills grinding, and everything promises prosperity.
Yesterday the Chinese New Year, or Konohi, passed off in grand celestial style. Bales of firecrackers, Chinese bombs and Roman candles were exploded, and any amount of chickens, rice and sweetmeats were consumed. The layout was grand in every Chinese establishment. The blooming jonquils, fragrant lilies and other flowers formed the background to their loaded tables. All were welcome and hospitality was dealt out indiscriminately with a free hand. Continue reading →
This past 2nd, that being Hoaka by the reckoning of Ka Makaainana of the year, and it is the second day of the new year of the Chinese; Walter Akana held a new year party on his father’s side at his home on Maunakea Street. There were many friends who in attendance to celebrate with him, from those on his father’s side to those on his mother’s side. After a rest, there was a Hawaiian hula olapa program; there was much enjoyment, held peacefully until the late of the night.
To troubles that are past!
‘Tis well they didn’t last;
Our Chinese cooks had fun,
But we, alas! had none—
Cold joints are good enough,
But oh! we like “hot stuff,”
No skittles and no beer,
For us, Chinese New Year.
“Life is not all beer and skittles”—
But it will be if we drink
It’s all right Sir
C. A. Nelson, Agt. Phone Main 1331
(Evening Bulletin, 2/18/1907, p. 5)
Evening Bulletin, Volume IX, Number 3619, Page 5. February 18, 1907.
CHINESE NEW YEAR CELEBRATION OPENS MOST AUSPICIOUSLY
QUONG ON CLUBHOUSE.
“Kung he fat choy!”
It always rains on Chinese New Year. Which is a mercy. Because, if it did not, all kinds of things that result from playing with fire would be likely to happen. They began happening at midnight last night, with a great and long-continued noise. At the first the whistles blew at the hour of twelve sharp. That was the signal. Then a fiery pandemonium broke forth, and raged up and down all through the Asiatic quarter of the town, from Nuuanu to River street…
(Hawaiian Gazette, 2/3/1905, p. 1)
Hawaiian Gazette, Volume XL, Number 10, Page 1. February 3, 1905.
…and beyond, and on all the cross streets where the sons of the Central Flowery Kingdom, who make their homes in Honolulu, have their abiding place. Continue reading →
New Year’s Day of the Chinese.—This coming Saturday [1/25/1868], we were told, is the Happy New Year Day of the people of China [ka aina pua]. Their new year day is a day that is considered a very important day to arrive, perhaps just as how the new year day of other people are thought greatly of. But their celebration is probably much bigger than that of the other ethnicities. Their celebration of their new year often begins by setting off fire crackers at midnight, and you are welcomed by them with them saying not our “Hape Nuia,” but with “Kono-hi! Konohi!” And then you say “Kuninihi.” [?? I iho no hoi “Kuninihi.”]
(Au Okoa, 1/23/1868, p. 2)
Ke Au Okoa, Buke III, Helu 40, Aoao 2. Ianuari 23, 1868.
The new year of the Chinese began on this past Monday, and the activities of the boys of China were worthy of great admiration.
On Tuesday, the 27th, Nailima held a konohi party at his residence, to celebrate the birthday of his beloved daughter, and there were many who were invited.
When they were ready to eat, there rose a disturbance between the home owner and some people who were bedecked with the delicacies of the konohi day; the people split up and fled and some of their voices had become slurred because they were drowsy on “the chilly waters of the dew,” and the glory of the day became as of naught.