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The herald. [microfilm reel] (Los Angeles [Calif.]) 1893-1900, April 22, 1896, Image 1

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042461/1896-04-22/ed-1/seq-1/

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Winter's untruth yields at laßt,
Spring renews old mother earth.
Angry storms are overpast.
Sunbeam* rill the air with mirth;
Pregnant, ripening into birth,
All the world reposes.
Our dellghtfui month so gay,
Not by birth, but by degree,
Took the first place, poet's say,
Since the whole year s cycle, he.
Youngest, loveliest, leads with glee,
And the cycle closes.
•Suog s.iuapnis P3adb|P»tc
■'Punish not thyself with pleasure: glut
not thy sense with palative. delights, nor
revenge tiie contempt of temperance by
the penalty of satiety. Were there an use
of delight, or any pleasure durable, who
would not honor Voluptla? but the race of
delight is short, and pleasures o£ one age
are not pleasures of another, and their
lives fall short of our own."—Sir T.
All hail to the carnival! To the time
of fun and frivolity, of innocent mirth
and merriment. All hail to the pros
perous reign of her majesty, La Reina
de la Fiesta, who by peaceful revolution
'has been enthroned, and the civlo au
thorities forced to abdicate and retire
Into temporary exile.
Amid the acclaim of the assembled
multitude her majesty has assumed the
duties and royal privileges of her ex
alteu office, and has establshed her
aourt in the palace of freedom.
Ere old 80l has by two hours passed
his zenith today the revels will com
mence, and, by open proclamation,
every loyal subject of her majesty ls
summoned to pay homage to the festive
spirit of the time, under pain and pen
alty of being punished for lese majeste.
While the olty fathers made graceful
abdication last night and paid their de
voirs at the foot of the throne r.f Youth
and Beauty, making surrender of the
massive keys of the city In token of the
loving fidelity of every heart within the
realm, there were, probably, very few
: present at the august ceremonies that
realized that the spirit of Joyousness
1 manifested was merely an echo that has
reverberated back and forth through
tha long and dreary centuries from the
dark and misty past.
The Fiesta! The very etymology of
the word feast or festival ls obscure,
and wMle some contend that It ls from
the Latin festum, from the same root
as "fast," others as emphatically de
clare It is (rem the Greek word hestia,
hearth. In either case a feast or fes
tival has ever been a day or days set
apart more particularly for religious ob
servance. Whether casual or periodic
with a ritual grave or gay. carnal as the
orgies of Baal and Astarte or spiritual
as the worship of the Puritans, it was a
festival or "holy day" inasmuch as It
ls professedly linked to and held in the
name of religion.
Where no religion ls there can be no
feasts, and without civilization any at
tempt at festival keeping is necessarily
fitful and comparatively futile. Festi
vals developed as religion developed
and gradually assumed distinctive
character. The religiosity of the sav
age is shown in reverence for the
dead, many cases the ceremon
ial observed is extremely mea
ger and simple, but It ever tends to be
come more elaborate, and, above all,
It calls for repetition and that at regu
lar Intervals. Whenever this last de
-1 mand has made itself felt a calendar be
gins to take shape. The simplest cal
endar is obviously the lunar. The hymns
of the Rig-Veda indicate a worship
of nature's powers, connected with a re
currence with the seasons; the worship
of the Phoenicians was solar and tho
principal feasts took place In the spring
and autumn; the characteristic celebra-
tions of the Egyptians were those which
took place at the disappearance ot Oslvls
In October, at the search for his remains,
and their discovery about the winter
solstice, and at the date 0? his sup
posed entrance into the moon at the be
ginning of spring. The Phrygian festi
vals were also arranged on tho theory
that the deity was asleep during the
winter and awakened In the sprtng.and
the seasonal character of the Teutonic
Ostern, the Celtic Eeltein and the Scan
dinavian Yin is obvious.
Alone of all the ancient nations tha
Persians had no festivals, as they had
no temples and no common worship.
The "Puritans of Polytheism" -worship
ped the sun only.as the visible mtr.ifcs
tatioi of Deity, and his representative
on earth, fire; scorned show and pomp
and large religious gatherings as being
contrary to the spirit of the teachings of
their great master, Zoroaster.
A striking contrast to them was found
upon the discovery of the American con
tinent, when the ancient Mexicans, who
were remarkable for the perfection of
their calendar, were found to possess
an elaborate system of movable feast*
distributed over the year. The most im
portant was that in honor of their gods,
Tezcatllpoca, Hintzilopochtll and Tla
loo, held in May, Juno and December.
The Peruvians observed a feast at
each new moon, and four solar festivals.
Of these the most important wns the
Yntip-Raymi (sun-fea3t) which, pre
ceded by a three-days' fast, began with
the summer solstice and lasted f >i nine
The Hindoos and Buddhists,the Chin
ese, the Greeks and Romans, Jewaand
early Christiana all observed feasts
which In their origin were based on
solar combined with religious observ
ance. Attempts have at various times
been made to reorganize the system of
festivals on other than a religious basis,
and most notably during the Fren-h
revolution. An elaborate list was pre
pared end days set apart to the Supreme
Being, to nature, to the martyrs of free
dom, hatred of tyrants, truth, Justice,
modesty, love, conjugal fidelity, etc.
These various characteristics not pre
eminently distinguishing the active
participants In the bloody rebellion
against the accumulated tyrannies of
tha age, the plan was not adopted.
La Fiesta de Los Angeles ls the evolu
tionary product of that particular fes
tival generlcly known as the "Carnival"
and observed with many curious cere
monies and considerable display, more
particularly in Italy and Spain. The or
igin of the word "carnlval."like the pre
ceding ons of "festival," ls in dispute.
The most natural form of the Latin
term "carnisprlvium," Intended to ex
press "farewell to flesh meat,"—carni
vale. It is contended, however, that the
word was originally Identical with "car
na.Ha," Indicating an origin much earlier
than any ecclesiastical observance.
Tha Italian festival originally began
on the feast of Fnlphany and continued
to Ash Wedne. ay, when the fast of
Lent made an end of feasting, masquer
ading and buffoonery. Later the carni
val was limited to the time of from three
to eight days before Ash Wednesday.
The forms and customs still preserve.!
in its celebration originated without
doubt In the days far antedating the
Christian era.
The Bacchanalian festivals of the Ro
mans, adopted by them from older na
tions, were celebrated twice a year—ln
the summer and winter—thus Indica
ting the early connection of the rite?
with the phenomenon of ihe solar sys
tem. The Lupercalian festival In honor
of Tan (god of all m . ihttnnti and em
blematic of fecundity) and Ceres (god
dess of corn and harvests) was observed
in February (which Pope Gelastus I
strove to supersede by substituting Cor
them the festival of the Purification of
the Blessed Virgin, with special illumi
nation ot candles on the altar Candle
mass), and coincided with the period of
carnival, ns did also the mediaeval cel
ebration of the Festival of Fools, also
a survival of old Pagan midwinter rev
While thus being strongly reminiscent
of the Bacchanalia and Supercalia of
Southern Europe, the carnival season
is also linked with the Yule-feast among
northern peoples. Shrovetide, or Shrove
Tuesday, called also Fasten-even or
Pancako Tuesday, was a relic of the
English festive time at the feast of
Epiphany, or on Three Kings day. The
middle classes restricted their days of
revelry to the week preceding Lent,
while the poor indulged in only one day
of mad mirth. The girls and boys, even
yet, in remote districts in England, go
a-clacking. They go about in parties
with little "clacks" of wood In their
hands, and fall to beating doors and
"Herrings, white and red,
Ten a penny, Lent's dead.
Rise, dame, and give an egg
Or else a piece of bacon.
One for Peter, two for Paul.
Three for Jack-a-Dent's all.
Away, Lent, away!"
The food was asked with which to
make merry. First coming to a door, the
children strike up loud with their song,
"Herrings, herrings!" and as soon as
any food Is donated they chime In With
the chorus:
— 3 ——— ; - '■ . - ■. I I
Mrs. Mildred Howell Lewis will hold for a brief season the massive keys of the city, and wear the jeweled Fiesta
crown.' She occupies a high social position and possesses a distinctive beauty. Mrs. Lewis Is the daughter of Rob
ert H. Howell, a local capitalist, who has been a resident of this city since 1888. She was born in Shrevcsport,
Louisiana, and her childhood was spent in the south. She came to Los Angeles after graduating from Miss Raid
win's school in Staunton, Virginia, and her girlhood was passed, and her marriage took place, here. She is young
and very fair, a tall, stately, graceful woman, patrician in style, and her beauty is of a pronounced type. Her
abundant, dark, wavy hair, her long-lashed, brown eyes, her charming smile, all belong to a face which is a picture
of youthful loveliness. She is eminently fitted to wear the regal robes of Los Angeles' Fiesta Queen, a Queen not
selected as one born to rule in the affairs of state, but as a typical embodiment of the festival, in which all the wealth
of California is represented in exquisite pictures of nature's perfect gifts. Surrounded by her court, which embraces
a group of the beautiful young women of Los Angeles, no one can fail to see what the F : iesta Queen and her miids
of honor represent in this beautiful spring festival of Southern California.
"Here sits a good wife.
Pray God save her life.
Set her upon a hod
And drive her to God."
If they receive nothing after singing
their song they fill the keyholes with
dust and sing in chorus defiantly:
"Here sits a bad wife,
The Devil take her life;
Set her upon a swivel
And send her to the dlvell."
According to the papal order the
clergy were allowed to commence the
carnival two days before the laity. The
several days had distinctive names such
as "Cat,"or greasy Sunday; "blue" Mon
day (or fool's consecration), etc. The
Tuesday before Lent was especially
styled Carnival—the Fast-nacht ot the
German people. The custom of pre
senting green nosegays and planting fir
trees before houses are reminiscent of
the thysus of the ancient Bacchanals
and equally of Yule-tide decorations for
Christmas among northern peoples.
The ancient custom also of scourging
women accidentally met dining the Ltl
percalla was preserved in the mediae
val observance of the carnival, 'i he
presentation of eggs, the burning of the
' holly hoy." or Jack-a-T.»nt, and the
jumping over the fire, all of which were
characteristic observances of carnival
Something Interesting in the Center 1
of Classified Page Today >
j time, have fallen into disuse, and were
' survivals of pagan ceremonial. The
last named observance drew for the
j Sixth general assembly of the church,
! held in the year 680, under Constantiije
i PogonatUS, a prohibition against "the 1
practice of lighting fires in front of the
houses and shops, and Jumping over
them at the time of the new moon."
The fire of carnival is still kept burning,
however, in some parts of S >uthern Ger
Many if not most of these curious cus
' turns were simply survivals of the su
perstitions peculiar to paganism, and
cither crept Into the primitive Chris-
I ian church or. as In the specific time ap- i
pointed for holding certain feasts, were j
adopted and transformed in the bosom j
of Christianity.
Venice was especially distinguished
by the pomp and splendor of its carni- i
vals, but at later date Home."the city set \
i on seven hills." became most prominent. ;
These seasons, during which Reason
abdicated Its throne, and Folly reigned, j
were recognized as an important ele- j
ment in the material prosperity of the ,
city. It was found that the carnival j
promoted trade by Inducing large num- ]
bers of people, foreigners, and provin- '
eials. to throng to Rome. As a conse- i
quenee the government of the Popes j
looked leniently on the. carnival, and In- |
deed took active steps to encourage the
revelry. There were exeptibns, however,
Clement IX. objected to the general li- j
' cense which characterized carnival lime j
and used each year to shut himself in !
the convent of St. Sablua on the even- j
tide that he might not witness the
which he could not avoid tolerating. (
Clement XI.. in 1719-21, issued two apos
tolic briefs with a view to repressing
! these abuses, and Benedict XIII., follow
! ing the example of Clement IX, passed
, carnival in seclusion in the Dominican
I convent of St. Slxtus. His successor,
j Benedict XIV., in 1745, issued an en
| cyclical later, hoping to moderate evils
which, while not inherent, had become
incorporated in the yearly festival.
Finding that the license gave rise to
much abuse and not a few crimes, Pope
SixtUS V. adopted a drastic remedy. To
the dismay and terror of the Roman
populace he had set up sundry gibbets
in several conspicuous places of the im
perial city, as well as a number of whip
; ping posts—the former as a hint to rob
! bers and cut-throats, the latter in wait- !
| Ing for minor offenders. It was Sixtus
I also who reformed the evil custom of !
[ throwing dirt and dust flour at passers
! by, permitting only flowers and cori- [
' andoll, or little pellets the size of a pea j
I made of plaster of paris. to be used by
j the merry maskers in their friendly en
At Turin, Milan. Florence and Xaples.
the carnival season was observed with
; a magnificence second only to Rome,
j and at Lisbon. Madrid and Barcelona
! the merry-making time has also been
, kept with many curious ceremonies,
some of which are familiar to the in
dividual country or locality. In every
j instance the carnival has had as an
I underlying principle a religious Idea,
j but the main purport of each and every
celebration has been the fostering of
I good feeling and the advancement of
. trade. In the years comparatively recent
I similar desire prompted the ctvlo author
j ities at Nice, Aux-le-Bains and other
jof the Kuropean resorts to observe the
carnival season, and so many members
jof the Latin races, finding a home in
j the United States, it followed as a nat-
I ural consequence that the custom should
gain a foothold in this country, albeit
divorced from the religious sentiment.
The Mardt-Gras has won fame for Xew
Orleans throughout the length and
breadth of the land, and St. Louis and
Memphis have fallen Into line in the
adoption ofl tr\ custom that acts as a
stimulus to trade. Sonic other more
northern cities, too. have a carnival sea
son, and. while successful in a financial
way. lack the elemnt of decorous aban
| don that can only be found beneath the
warm sun of a more southern latitude,
and the artistic and Bohemian spirit
that Is a distinguishing feature where
ever the Latin races are represented in
considerable numbers,
In the sunny southland of California.
where the conditions are so eminently;
fitted for a proper celebration of a car
nival, it is little wonder that La Fiesta
de Los Angeles should provoke a spirit
of Joyousness among the inhabitants
of the southern countries. But far more
than this it has attracted wide atten
tion throughout the country at large and
from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and
the chilly regions in the north to the
Mexican gulf every state tn the Union
sends some representatives to attend the
revelries during carnival week. The
local celebration, like those ot the me
diaeval time, has received not only the
endorsement but the active support ot
the mercantile element In the commun»
ity. The first Fiesta, held in 1894, was
arranged by the Merchants' association
and lasted for five days, at a cost of
about fIO.OOO. It proved so successful
that In the year following more elaborate
entertainment was provided for the
thousands of visitors that thronged the
city, at a total expenditure of $31,000.
The alwundant measure of st oess that
resulted made the acceptrfion of La
Fiesta de Los Angeles as a permanent
yearly celebration a necessity.
This year the program of festivities
and the multitudinous details in con
nection with the live days' celebration
have been attended to in more systetn
! atlc form than heretofore. Committees
from the Merchants' association, the
chamber of oommerce and the board of
trade have had the matter in hand, and
have brought the celebration to what
promises to be most successful issue
by means of a most pains-taking execu
tive committee composed as follows:
i J. F. Francis, president.
I R. W. Pridham. first vice-president.
F. K. Rule, second vice-president.
! C. 8, VValton, third vice-president.
! 11. Jevne, treasurer.
c. T>. Willard. secretary,
j The cost of this year's celebration will
I be about J25.000. and. albeit much less
than the one previous, will In Its many
I features be a decided Improvement.
That the metropolis of Southern Cali
fornia is en fete is more than apparent.
The civic authorities have been deposed
by a peaceful revolution, and her majes
ty the queen now wields her scepter
over willing subjects who have accepted
her as a typical embodiment of the ris
ing glory of this land of the "corn and
wine and oil"—tbe national blessings
promised of old.
i To the eye of the local resident the
city has been transformed as if by*
, magic from a mere earthly habitation,
! suited to the requirements of a work-'
] a-day world, to a fairyland. Instinct
with the glowing brilliancy of tha
southland, and rioting with all the
| tropical luxuriance of color that adorns
j the land of sunshine. The soft green of'
the olive blends with the gold of the
! orange and the burning ruby of thol
wine In great sweeps of color enfolds tha
I city. Palm leaves and pampas plumes,
are happily Incorporated In the decora-.
| tlons of the avenues, and the blaze of
j glorious color serves ss royal setting to'
i the stars and stripes of the national flag
I which flies from a hundred different
; points of vantage. i
! Today the festivities proper will be-
I gin. The carnival spirit is Infectious andj
j the thousands of visitors within tho
i city gates are prepared to join hands/
with the Angelenos in making merry,
i surrender to
| "Sport, that wrnklM care derdes,
| Ami Laughter holdng both his sides/"
! i
i She comes, a vision of delight.
In dainty sown of organdie,
! The prettiest piece of pink and whit*
That *ver gladdened human sight,
j Of all the maids there in none quit*
So fair, so dear, as she.
' n.
! About her lips the dimple* show
; With quaint when Bn«
: Cupid is lurking there T know.
!To wreak disaster with his bow—
: \)r>r mouth, a rosebud in the snow;
; A rosebud that hesruiles.
: With downcast eyes, so sweet and shy,
{ There lives hour bold enough to say,
She sees that lancer prancing: by.

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