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Sensi Magazine

Celebrate the Year of the Pig

Mar 15, 2019 09:23PM
In 2019, Chinese New Year officially begins on Tuesday, February 5, a day that marks the beginning of the auspicious Year of the Pig, and runs through February 19. The annual Spring Festival, celebrated around the world, marks the end of the coldest days, ushering in the warmer days ahead. It’s a period for praying to the gods for a good planting and harvest season.

The Emerald Triangle has a rich Chinese history dating to the 1848 Gold Rush, which brought thousands of Chinese immigrants to the region particularly Trinity County. In the small mining town of Weaverville (about 105 miles east of Eureka), the Chinese residents erected a small Taos “joss” house a temple of worship and named it Won Lim Miao. The Taos tradition aims at serenity through harmony with nature.

While that first joss house was lost to fire (as was its replacement), the third iteration circa 1874 still stands today as a perfectly preserved artifact. The colorful “Temple Amidst the Forest Beneath the Clouds” stands out among the town’s signature brick buildings, painted bright blue to replicate the color of the sky. The interior of the oldest continually used Chinese temple in California remains unchanged since 1874 (although electricity and protective railings were added), and the space displays artworks, artifacts, and altars. It became part of the California State Parks system in 1956.

On February 23, visit the landmark to watch history come alive during the annual Chinese New Year’s Celebration, complete with a traditional Lion Dance said to showcase the balance between yin and yang. As part of the free celebration, the colorful lions wander through the town, stopping at businesses to spread good luck to the community.

What: Chinese New Year Celebration
Where: Joss House State Historic Park, Weaverville
When: February 23, 11 a.m.