Monday, January 26, 2009

春节愉快!(or Happy Spring Festival!)

As most of you probably already know, tonight is the eve of the Lunar New Year. We celebrated by enjoying some delicious dumplings and home cooked Korean food, playing a traditional Korean game called "Yut," and setting off some underwhelming but still very fun fireworks. (We were beginners, and the guy who was lighting the fuse risked blowing off his arm plenty of times as it was...)

Finally, J and our two visitors hopped on the last subway home. When we got through the door, it was about 11:30pm, and it felt like we were in the midst of enemy fire. But of course, it was really just our friendly neighbors celebrating the biggest event of the year in style.

This was the view just outside our window, from our apartment on the 17th floor. Apparently, most fireworks sold in China are designed to explode right about...oh, the 17th floor. We know this because those puppies were popping right into our frickin' faces, like so:

From Beijing Dou

And also:
From Beijing Dou

Oh, and check out this cool double helixy one:
From Beijing Dou

"But, Marilyn!" you exclaim, "Those fireworks are exploding not more than 20 yards away from all those residential high rises! That can't be safe!"

Never fear, my friend, because we currently reside in a glorious nation whose iron-grip government does not regulate the sales of such explosives on the open street, nor the whims of ordinary citizens as they set them ablaze. If the good ol' CCP's not worried, we needn't be, right? All in good fun! (Ok, maybe that's not entirely true. We've heard people aren't allowed to set them off on private property...but wait, how does that keep up from blowing our limbs off? Or each others' faces?)

Anyway, all this leads to probably the most spectacular, and profuse, display of fireworks I've ever seen this up close. I didn't really capture the full effect on camera, but a quick glance out our window revealed layers upon layers of exploding balls of light for miles in every direction. It's now 2 hours since we've gotten home, and it's still going strong...

So, to finish this post as we head to bed (assuming we can fall asleep to the sweet tunes of sporadically exploding gunpowder), I will borrow an overused and groan-inducing pun that we've been seeing EVERYWHERE here:

Happy 牛 Year!!*

*[FYI, "牛," pronounced "niu," is the character for "cow" or "ox," which--conveniently enough for punsters everywhere (have I mentioned how much Chinese people love puns?)--happens to be the Chinese zodiac animal representing the new Lunar Year.]


Abnormality said...

it's no wonder i love puns so much. and my dad, too. although...i think my puns are much funnier than my dad's. just my opinion.

p.s. bet you yale's got some chinese in her blood, too.

Amy said...

happy 牛 year? really? ... wow. i mean, wow.

well, at least the fireworks are pretty, i guess...