Thursday, February 3, 2011

chinese new year

some things over here are well, just different.

like fireworks. let me explain...

in america, those little red shacks crop up in gas station parking lots about two weeks before new year's eve and july 4th, and close up shop a few days after. chinese people can purchase and shoot off fireworks all year long. any time someone wants to celebrate anything, they shoot off fireworks. any time a new store opens, you'll know about it because they shoot off fireworks. and most of these new stores open in the morning. time isn't a factor when it comes to fireworks over here. i think they don't really care so much about the visual as the audio. there's nothing like almost being knocked off your bike due to an unexpected sound wave. and that leads me to the next difference...

when it comes to the chinese and their fireworks, bigger equals better. i remember when i was a kid, we had all sorts of creative (and when i say creative i mean destructive) things to do with fireworks. like taking the stick off of a bottle rocket, lighting and throwing it, and seeing what happened. we also liked to stand in a square and throw the little guys at each other, usually until one blew up in your hand. roman candle wars were great too. i have some friends who actually duct-taped bottle rockets to a skateboard. it was awesome. (sorry mom) but the convenient thing about all of these incredibly stupid things that most boys (and men) do with fireworks is that in america there are laws about how much power is allowed to be put in them, to keep the injuries to a minimum. even if i had a black cat blow up in my vicinity, the ringing would go away relatively quickly. i don't think they have laws like that in china, and if they do, they don't enforce them. you can walk right up to any vendor here and buy rockets that you would usually only see on the 4th of july at a fireworks show. the sound that chinese fireworks can create is amazing. like i said, the audio boom is more important than the visual one. in america you can get about 1 foot of little guys fused together that go off all at once. i saw one here that was like 12 feet long. it was insane. people don't even just light and hold sparklers here, they swing them around on wires. now let's talk about where they shoot them off...

when i was younger, i had a friend who would light m80s in his bedroom and throw them out the window. he enjoyed this until one throw went awry, hit the sill, and stayed inside. he stopped after that. (sorry again mom) chinese people will shoot off fireworks just about anywhere. the middle of the road, between apartment buildings, wherever. i think that as long as you give the cars and the buildings a few feet, you're good.

on new year's eve or the 4th of july in america, there's usually one or two guys in your neighborhood who go out and get a good amount of fireworks to blow up. i think the chinese feel it's one of their duties as a citizen of the republic to shoot off fireworks on new year's. and after new year's. and before new year's. really any time is a good time to be patriotic here.
we haven't been sleeping that well lately.
i think this video will help you understand...


  1. oh my word that is alot of flashing fireworks! It seems loud on the video so I can only imagine in person much less while trying to sleep!! Thanks for giving us a feel of Chinese New Year - I think maybe we will stick with the good ole Lake Murray ones :) Love you guys!