Hayward's Journal

January 25, 1879

Chinese New Year's

According to the Calendar of the Chinese their new year began last Tuesday, and the representatives of that despised nation living in this neighborhood devoted that day and about the balance of the week to a grand occasion with enthusiasm, and in divers ways demonstrate the great joy over the anniversary. We strolled about among the Chinese lodges Monday night, to gain some information in regard to the day so becoming celebrated, and though we could find no Celestial sufficiently versed in the English language to explain matters, still we were enabled to see that great preparations were being made, and we also noticed that the almond-eyed heathen were in remarkable good humor. Most of the houses are boardinghouse, lodging house, store house, and wash house combined, and are forced to accomodate a surprisingly large number of Chinamen, who seem perfectly contented in their sandwitched condition. The houses are not constructed with any regard to the comfort of the occupant, and holds out no inducement to a man to linger long in one place. The sleeping apartments are pertitioned off with old sacks and rags so full of holes that one wonders at how they are made to hang together. In some of the rooms the occupants were engaged in sucking consolation through the medium of opium pipes, where all of them seemed happy as oysters at the prospect of having a good time on the morrow. The stores exhibited a large stock of fire crackers, candies, liquors, ets., spread out in the most attractive manner, while an unusual liberality was manifested as cigars were distributed among visitors. All Chinamen felt it a religious duty to work as little as possible on new year's, and have as good a time as they know how to do, and those living about here carried this idea to the letter.

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