Sunday, October 19, 2008

Firecrackers redux

Saturday, October 19, 7:55 am: What sounds like a skirmish involving light rifle fire erupts on the ground 15 floors below our window. M is startled awake. Either fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, I was already getting ready for work. I peek out the kitchen window to see the joyous green and white flashing of a large roman candle, at least a few sparklers, and other random fireworks. I rack my brain as to what sort of holiday it could be. Once I was ready, I peeked my head out the window again: about 20 or so Chinese people of various shapes and sizes are gathered around a small plaza, in the center of which is a blackened stand for what I can only assume was a large roman candle. The light grey cinder block/brick ground is obviously (that is, visible from 15 floors up) streaked with gunpowder burns. Scorched earth, indeed.

Just now, I googled: 'is october 18th a chinese holiday?' to no avail. "Maybe it's October 1st on the Lunar calendar," I wonder bemusedly.

Just now (a new now), M leaned over and said "Are you writing about the fireworks? There were more again today around 9:30."

Just now (newer), it occured to me that maybe an early morning dose of fireworks is China's way of shouting to the world, "HEY GUESS WHAT? WE INVENTED THIS STUFF."

1 comment:

Shellcomber said...

LOL! You guys are too funny. Maybe it's those Beijingers, too excited about the secret market. I haven't seen or heard a single firecracker in Tianjin. There were some loud birds outside my window, but they seem to have migrated south recently...