Tuesday, February 3, 2009 ;
2:01 PM
The atmosphere here during CNY is really festive. Although they don't have the lion and dragon dances here (because it is northern China?) and they don't have the unique custom of lao yusheng (lo hei) like Singapore or Malaysia or HK (?), they more than make it up with the fireworks, firecrackers and sparklers.

The diversity and array is stunning and mind boggling. The amount of money they spend is surely more than half their month's salary. We saw many families cart their fireworks, boxes and boxes of them, unload them either from the bicycle or from the boot of the car, place them in the middle of the road or a courtyard and light it up.

I like the fireworks best. As you light it up, the box starts to regularly have these rockets of fireworks blast off and shoot upwards, piercing through the night sky. Accompanying that is a rocking, deep and loud "BOOM!". The boom-boom-boom resonates so much that the parked cars around the area will have their security alarms all activated. This of course adds to the noise, and in this case, it is not irritating. Haha, forms some kind of symphony of loud noises.

Once the rocket blasts into the sky, the sound changes to the exploding sounds, and you see bright colours of bursting stars and patterns in the sky. So beautiful and mesmerising.

No wonder it is dangerous, because while all of us are admiring the fireworks, sometimes, the kids move nearer and nearer the box that is still setting off the rockets. And when I am not looking, they get too close for comfort. So every now and then, I have to start glancing around to check if both boys are in a safe zone.

This video clip below was taken after midnight, i.e. it was 1st day of CNY already, perhaps around 1am. It's right at my block of apartments. In fact, throughout our estate, everyone was lighting them up. Through their generosity, we enjoyed fireworks from 7pm on 除夕 right up to 4am on 初一。Without us having to spend a cent. :-)

You can see that after this individual finished lighting his set of fireworks, others were still setting theirs off, at other nearby locations in our area. So we ran from windows in the living room to the kitchen and study room (facing different directions) to admire the fireworks.

And sorry, the very last part of the clip was just me spying on the neighbors a little bit. hee.

This was before midnight, the kids were just only starting to enjoy the fireworks, so they still had the energy and excitement to keep jumping up and down. A little dark, but I am sure you can see their constantly moving bodies.

On 初一, everyone seemed to wake up late, since they were up all night (守岁)so we were the only ones out in the courtyard before 10am. Dh lit both the firecrackers that his business partner gave us. I filmed one of them.

See Dh running off. And the boys covering their ears cos it's too loud but all the same being excited and interested. They love firecrackers more than fireworks. They'll run to the window or streetside to watch others with their fireworks and wow and ooh/aah over the fireworks, but somehow, setting off their own is still more exciting I guess? But ds1 still said "Cool!" at the end of the clip.

Best thing about setting off firecrackers here? You need not bother about the mess. It's accepted as the norm that you can leave all your litter behind.

Since it was Sunday, we had our own worship service, since the other local brethren were all back in their hometowns in Xian and Lanzhou. Then we had lunch and the kids begged to go out again.

Kids riding on their beloved bikes. They've been asking for them and missing them since we packed them in March 2008 into the boxes. ds1 is the one shouting "Yee Har Yee Har!" like a cowboy.

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

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