Chicago Tribune -- January 30, 1892Celebration of Chinese New Year's
Incense was burned, wine was drunk, and peans were sung in honor of the great Chinese Joss by hundreds of his Chicago worshippers yesterday. It was their New Year's day, the anniversary of the ascension to the throne of the present ruler of the Chinese Empire, and every one of the hundreds of Mongolians in Chicago was out in holiday attire. All work was suspended, and the scores of dingy, dark basement laundries were lit up for the first time in a year. The walls and windows were decorated with bright colored papers inscribed with words of praise to Joss and the Emperor. In most cases temporary altars were erected, and thanks offerings of flesh and fruit were burned with myrrh and frankincense and aloes, according to a custom said to have been established a thousand years before the Christian era.
The center of pagan worship in Chicago was on Clark Street, near Harrison. Hundreds of Americans flocked thither to see the display at Hip Lung Hotel and the Bow Wo Fung drug store.
The Chinese grocery which occupies the first floor was cleared of all merchandise, and the place was fitted up to represent a Joss house. From the ceiling were hung numerous highly-colored rice paper banners. In the rear and above the image of 2Joss were thirteen of them, inscribed in gilt with the thirteen Chinese classics, the work of Kien-loong, an Emperor of great wisdom, who has rested in his grave hundreds of years. Along the north wall were the five virtues handed down by Confucius. They are benevolence, righteousness, propriety, knowledge, and faith. Beneath a portrait of Confucius were the words he is said to have uttered on his deathbed: "The great mountain is broken. The strong beam is thrown down, and the wise man is decayed."
On a large table in front of the image of Joss were the bronze vessels in which sweet smelling spices were burning. Artistically arranged about these were offerings of Chinese sweet meats, chicken, and roast pig. In a comfortable room on the second floor was Mrs. May Chung Hoy, wife of one of the three brothers who own the hotel. On her lap was little May Fook Kan, who was christened with pagan pomp and ceremony several months ago. Her costume differed little from that of her husband. Her blouse was of heavy, light blue silk with pink sleeves, and her limbs were incased in wide legged trousers of purple silk. Gold rings at least six inches in circumference adorned her ears, and around her neck was a heavy gold band. Her hair was combed straight back from her forehead and wound in an odd coil at the back of her head. The coil could scarcely be seen for the gold and turquoise 3ornaments which adorned her. The chubby legs and arms of the son of May Chung Hoy were loaded with gold bracelets, and on his head was a quaint silk cap covered with metal ornaments, which jingled every time the baby moved. His dress was of light purple silk, with long flowing sleeves.
In the evening a banquet was served; all of Chinese preparation. During the banquet a Chinese orchestra composed of thirteen pieces played.
I B 4, V B
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