Monday, January 26, 2009

Chinese New Year's Rocking Eve

Good evening everyone!

The Chinese here in Shanghai did an amazing job on New Year's Eve. It was truly something Mike and I have never experienced before. We are used to checking out the Zambelli show at Point State Park or watching a Capital Fourth on WQED but hey, this was amazing. There were fireworks EVERYWHERE. And I mean everywhere!
And for those of you living on Prince George Drive in Plum Borough, PA - none of these people were "certified" by the US Fireworks Commission or any commission for that matter. Everyone here does it - big people, kids, old people - young people - and they set them off right on the sidewalk or in the street. In fact, there is an apartment building in the next block where we saw strings of fire crackers hanging out the window - someone lit them and they were swinging in the breeze. Long, long strings of firecrackers that take maybe 5 minutes to burn down. And sky-high rockets of color that send off lots of sparks. They do have sparklers too. I saw some kids playing with them.
The people here at Shama - our apartment courtyard - set some off right underneath our bedroom/living room. The sparks were landing on the balcony and some even came inside the living room. We had to close the door pronto in order to avoid a fire. Needless to say, it was pretty crazy and LOUD.
Mike said he read that there were about 50 fire incidents in Beijing alone.
You can see some photos above - the top one is of some rockets bursting high in the sky near our apartment complex.
The second one is of Rosie (one of the waitresses), my friend, CeCe and one of the bartenders dancing on the bar at the Blue Frog - yeah, we had a great time. Shane, the main bartender makes a mean strawberry margarita. I didn't get up on the bar - wouldn't want to embarrass the Beaver girls.
The third one is of a Chinese man (check out his new jacket - everyone gets new clothes for the New Year - his is of gold brocade - very elegant) setting up a giant sparkler just down the street - his little boy who had to be about 6 years old was helping him. I was amazed that the mother was standing by proud as can be!
The last photo is of the balloon man on the corner - it kind of reminded me of First Night about 4 weeks ago in Pittsburgh - only it was a wee bit warmer here.
I hope you enjoyed reading about this as we did experiencing it.
Happy New Year!

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