Sunday, February 18, 2007

Chinese New Year

Last night was Chinese New Year's Eve. The house was sparkling clean (for good luck), the knives and scissors were put away (to keep from cutting the good luck), there were three unopened lilies amid a bouquet of many more (one bloomed today signifying we are bound to have a prosperous year – hurray!), I had frozen dumplings ready to go for New Years day (good luck), and a bowl of oranges (for good luck and wealth).

The fireworks started around 6 p.m. There were massive explosions everywhere. The fireworks lit up the sky, leaving ash and paper on the streets, and the smell of gunpowder lingering in the air. The celebrations continued all night long; the largest display took place at midnight.

I’m finding it difficult to describe what it’s like to have massive fireworks going on outside your window for 6 hours. After about the first hour, it all turned into white noise. But it’s not over, yet.

I believe there will be more fireworks tonight and the “big” fireworks display, which will take place quite close to our apartment, is scheduled for Monday night.

Given the sheer quantity of huge fireworks (being set off in the streets and parking lots nearby), I’m pretty sure that the average Joe can purchase the same fireworks that are used in most professional displays in the US.

And so today was pretty mellow. Most shops and restaurants were closed. There were very few taxis out and about. We spent the day on the couch. Trying to figure out what we are going to do for the rest of the week.

Traditionally, the Chinese spend the entire week with their families. This means that very few places are open. And so, while we have this whole week to ourselves, we are coming up short on what we should do with this time. We were thinking about going to Beijing, but we’re not sure what is open. We were thinking of traveling outside of China, but getting the plane tickets is proving difficult.

Stay tuned...

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