China

Happy New Year, Beijing-style

I’d like to wish everyone Happy New Year!
I know this is the second but I have that luxury since I stay in China. Those in East and Southeast Asia may likely also be celebrating this holiday in their countries. Being able to mark two New Year holidays so soon may seem redundant, but it’s a good way to start afresh (half serious) and enjoy two celebrations within a short time. For me, it’s a good time to relax for a week and hope my foot continues to heal properly. Almost all workers get one week off and many people either travel or return to their hometowns.

First, New Year’s Eve was filled with traditional fireworks and firecrackers as Beijing went wild for the day.  I’ve seen and set off fireworks in Trinidad (for New Year’s Eve/ Old Year’s Night) and Toronto (Canada Day), but the fireworks in Beijing are another matter. Even though many people from other provinces have left town and the streets are devoid of traffic, there are still at least six million in the city, compared to over 20 million in general.
Almost every neighborhood had people lighting up, even in the street outside my complex. It got especially loud leading up to midnight, so that it was almost like being in a warzone with explosions and flares everywhere, though thankfully no fires and casualties. The government is actually trying to tone this down for environmental reasons as the fireworks add to the already-bad air pollution, but on this one night this year, the fireworks were still vivid enough.
Here’s how Beijing’s midnight madness looked. My photos only provide a partial picture (pardon the pun) of what it was like.
DSC00416DSC00446 DSC00435 DSC00457
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