“Chun jie kuai le!” means “Happy Spring Festival!”
Spring Festival is the most important holiday in China. (Spring Festival = Chinese New Year = Lunar New Year) Very much like Christmas in the US. It is a time for family reunions, celebrations, and vacation. Pretty much the whole country shuts down and heads home (to wherever they grew up or their family lives now). It makes for a really interesting experience for foreigners as the cities empty out and the party begins.
On Monday night, the hubby and I were headed out to dinner and we noticed this sign posted in the elevator.
Who doesn’t love some good chinglish? Make sure you move that car.
The fireworks had already been going off for several days. All hours of the day. I still haven’t figured out the point of shooting fireworks in the middle of the day. But they do it. 6 am… 8 am… noon… midnight… Literally all day long.
These were given to some friends by their driver. We don’t know for sure, but I’d guess this particular 2000 round set of crackers cost a few yuan (probably less than $1). They don’t have restrictions here on who can buy fireworks. They sell any kind to any one. Huge boxes that would only be sold to professionals in the US are readily available here.
Wednesday was “New Years Eve”. We’d already been warned that there was no way you’d get any sleep until at least 1 am. And that’s if you’re a heavy sleeper.
Turns out that was a huge understatement.
This is the street right outside our apartment. Taken from our bedroom window. They started laying them out around 10 p.m. These boxes were huge, and they had dozens of them. Traffic just drove around them.
**Note: it is 2 days after the New Year as I’m writing this… and I literally just jumped out of my skin as ANOTHER firecracker went off just outside our window. I feel like I’m in the middle of a war zone.**
Our apartment is on the 11th floor. Turns out that’s right at explosion height for most fireworks. It was one of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen. You can’t even imagine.
But maybe this will give you an idea.
This went on for a solid hour and a half non-stop.
Across the whole city.
Did you notice the guy walking down the middle of the street? And the cars driving by right at the the base of the fireworks? Safety is really an afterthought around here.
**Ok. This is getting really annoying. We’ve now just had to pause the movie for the 6th time because we can’t hear over them.**
Can you imagine the aftermath of such an explosion?