Who: Chinese Historical Society of America
What: Lee Family Association Celebrates 1,400th Anniversary of the Founding of Imperial Tang Dynasty, June 17, 2018, 12PM
When: June 15, 2018: 10:30am – 11:00am
Where: CHSA 965 Clay Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

Making Chinese History in America

It’s been exactly 14 centuries since a member of the Lee Clan became the first emperor of the Tang Dynasty in China. To honor that historical landmark, the Lee Family Association in San Francisco is hosting a special ancestor veneration ceremony at their headquarters, located at 915 Grant Avenue, San Francisco, at noon on June 17, 2018. All are welcome to observe this special ceremony.

Information on this ceremony as well as all the historical references and background will be shared with the news media and interested public parties in a press conference at the Chinese Historical Society of America, 965 Clay Street, San Francisco this Friday, June 15, at 10:30AM. All members of the Bay Area press are invited. Please show your credentials at the entrance.

A Double Celebration: It will be a double celebration this year since June 18, the official anniversary date, falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar calendar year – the official date for the Dragon Boat Festival. In ancient times, the festival was celebrated with dragon boat races and the serving of ZhongZi, the Chinese tamale, to commemorate the Chinese poet and patriot QuYuan. It is believed that this day usually falls on the hottest period of the year when poisonous insects are active. Children would wear tiger hats and shoes for protection. To protect everyone else, posters of ZhongKui, the Chinese ghosts buster are hung.

The Tang Connection in America: Why is Chinatown also called Tong Yun Fow – the “Town of the Tang People”? Most Chinese identify themselves “Han Ren” – people of the (glorious) Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD). GuangDong Province, situated at the southern tip of China, was settled by the Han Ren later than those who conquered the plains of the mighty Yangtze River. Thus the people of GuangDong referred themselves “Tong Yun”, people of the Tang Dynasty (618-907AD).

Since the Chinatowns of America were first settled by the immigrants from GuangDong, the Chinatowns in the U.S. became known as Tong Yun Fow or “Town of the Tang People”. The language in Chinatown is “Tong Wah” (Cantonese) which was the language of the Tang Dynasty. The Tang Dynasty marked the golden age of Chinese literature and cosmopolitan culture. Tang poetry is recognized as the best Chinese poetry and it sounds/rhymes best when recited in Tong Wah instead of Mandarin Chinese which is a more recent Chinese language.

In addition to the Chinese Historical Society of America, the June 17 event is also supported by the Chinese Culture Center. Specially made ZhongZi will be served at the press conference – Quinoa ZhongZi and Purple Rice ZhongZi. New Chinese history (of the food kind) will be made.

For more information about the press conference and the veneration ceremony, please contact Mr. David Lei 415-816-4594 david -at- leifamily.com.

ABOUT CHINESE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA: Founded in 1963, the Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA) is the oldest and largest organization in the country dedicated to the documentation, study, and presentation of Chinese American history. Through exhibitions, publications, and educational and public programs, CHSA promotes the contributions and legacy of Chinese America. In 2001, CHSA relocated to the historic YWCA building, designed in 1932 by prolific and innovative architect Julia Morgan. The Chinese Historical Society of America Museum is located at 965 Clay Street, San Francisco, CA 94108. For information contact (415) 391-1188 or info@chsa.org or visit our website chsa.org.

Press Coverage:
“李氏公所祭祖 紀念唐朝建立1400年”, World Journal, June 16, 2018 (Chinese)

“李氏与华人历史学会纪念大唐”, US China Press, June 15, 2018 (Chinese)