Chinese Celebrate New Year in Yreka Calif. in 1931

Jan 1, 2014

 Memoir writer Frank Herzog described how in 1931 the Chinese of Northern California celebrated their New Year in grand style.  It was the Year of the Sheep and New Year’s Day for the Chinese fell on Feb. 17.

 The memoir, titled “Account of the Chinese in Yreka and Siskiyou County,” said the Chinese offered cooked food to the dead in the Chinese Cemetery, on grounds deeded to the city by the Charles Herzog ranch for use as a Chinese burial place. Great preparations were made with lots of roast pork and chicken on the menu.  The celebration got underway with a procession that included Chinese and Yreka community bands and carriages and other conveyances pulled by horses engaged from the six livery stables owned by Marin and Irving, J.E. Flittner, Benjamin Franklin, George Friend, William Harden and A.D. Crooks. Chinese marchers carried grand banners, lanterns, and colorful lighted candles inside elaborate frameworks.   When it got dark, the celebrants exploded fireworks at the cemetery and the Joss House.  Prizes went to those with the best fireworks displays and highest soaring rockets.  

  Sources: Herzog, Frank. Account of the Chinese in Yreka and Siskiyou County. Yreka, Calif.: 1931. PrintThursday, Jan. 2, 2014