Chinese New Year 2018

February 16 marks the dawn of a new year under the Chinese calendar. 2018 is the Year of the Dog.

Chinese New Year in Mendocino

Here in Mendocino County, we’re lucky enough to have an early relic of Chinese culture in North America. Located in the village of Mendocino is our own Taoist temple: the Temple of Kwan Tai.

the Temple of Kwan Tai in Mendocino

The Temple of Kwan Tai is a California Historic Landmark, and an important part of Mendocino’s history. The Chinese population of Mendocino in the 19th and early 20th centuries had a huge impact on the development and growth of the community, despite not being allowed to become citizens, own property, or vote in local elections. Notwithstanding the rampant racism of the era against Chinese populations, the community grew and flourished, and many of their descendants remain to this day.

The temple is one of the oldest standing buildings in the village of Mendocino, as it was built in 1854. This is the same year that the historic Ford House was built, and the year the Big River Mill was constructed.

The Temple of Kwan Tai Today

The Temple of Kwan Tai plays an active role in the Mendocino community, by putting on two spectacular events around the time of the Chinese New Year. These are the Chinese New Year Children’s Parade and the Chinese New Year’s Dinner. The public is encouraged to attend both of these events, and it’s always a joy to see members of the community and visitors the area join in on the celebrations. You can see the parade in the village of Mendocino on the late morning of Thursday, February 15th, and purchase tickets for the dinner on the evening of the 17th. The proceeds from the dinner help keep up the temple, and fund the annual parade.

Chinese New Years Parade

Our own Lorraine Hee-Chorley, on the accounting team here at Thanksgiving Coffee, manages the temple and the events it puts on. Lorraine is a direct descendant of the man who first built the Temple of Kwan Tai in 1854, and actually wrote the book Chinese in Mendocino County, documenting the lives of early Chinese settlers of this area.

Thanksgiving Coffee is happy to donate coffee for the New Year’s dinner, and our employees look forward to attending and volunteering every year!

Learn more: www.kwantaitemple.org

Attend the Chinese New Year Events

Parade: 11am in downtown Mendocino • Thursday, February 15 • Free

Dinner: 6:30pm at Crown Hall in Mendocino • Saturday, February 17 • $40
Call for tickets: 707-937-5123

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