Eye of the Chicken
A journal of Harbin, China

Did I mention the fireworks?
Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Read/Post Comments (0)
Share on Facebook
As I write this, I'm hearing firecrackers go off outside, as usual. The noise of fireworks has been my constant companion since I arrived in Harbin three weeks ago; yesterday, as I was walking from the bus stop to my campus apartment, I watched some guys light a zillion of them in a side street, stopping traffic for five minutes. Everywhere you go, you see the red fireworks papers littering the roadside (and cleaning crews behind them, sweeping up). The stadium by the ice rink seems to be a particularly choice spot, since the echo is tremendous.

The peak of the action was not on New Year's Eve, as I had thought it would be, but on Monday, February 7, the day we arrived in Beijing. Mr. Zhang explained to us that on that evening, the tradition is to eat jiao zi (Chinese dumplings) and set off fireworks, so we were moderately prepared for what followed. He dropped us off at a Peking duck restaurant and went home to do just that. We ate our (consummately delicious) meal, and hailed a cab back to our hotel. As we arrived (about 6:00 or so), the fireworks started. I was once again pinned to the side of the building while firecrackers exploded in the streets.

Particularly large bursts of firecrackers would set off car alarms, so you'd get "Poppoppoppoppop" followed by a chorus of "Whee! whee! whee!" (I can only imagine what traumas were incurred by the pet population of Beijing on that night.)

When we got to the room and looked out the window, we could see that the whole sky was ablaze. Here's what we saw right outside:


And I do mean "right outside." That blast came from between the building directly in the forefront of the picture, and our hotel room. Whoever it was had a LOT of fireworks to set off:




Literally, you could see fireworks going off in every part of the city. These pictures don't do the spectacle justice; I was unable to capture the red glow along the horizon, for example, or the various far-flung bursts. But I hope you get the idea.




It went on for hours. Barb, being jetlagged, went to bed at 8:30 and I only lasted another hour. But I laid in my bed with the curtains open in my room, groggily thinking, "Oh, gee, I should get up and Skype with someone so they can see this . . . " Sleep overtook me long before the fireworks stopped.

And this is yet another reason that I say to you: If you want to know how to party, you better come to China. Who knew? In my distant Cold War childhood, I would never have imagined that the Chinese, of all people, would teach me how to have a good time.

Life is truly strange and wonderful, eh?

Read/Post Comments (0)

Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Back to Top

Powered by JournalScape © 2001-2010 JournalScape.com. All rights reserved.
All content rights reserved by the author.