• About Julie

    NJ native without the accent or the big hair. Currently residing in Beijing. Teaching English. Absorbing all things China. Exploring SE Asia.

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National Firecracker Holiday aka Spring Festival

I arrived back in Beijing on the 21st, right smack in the middle of China’s biggest holiday – Spring Festival.  It’s a lunar holiday that fell on Valentine’s Day this year, and lasts until the Lantern Festival which is fifteen days later.  Its name might seem odd, since northern NJ seems to be getting snow right now, but spring is gradually coming over here and today it’s going to be 55 degrees.  Streets and restaurants are empty, but everyone comes out to play at night with explosions fireworks everywhere.  It’s lucky for me that I have no trouble falling asleep at 9PM because of jetlag, because otherwise they would keep me up until all hours of the night.  These same fireworks set an ancient city gate ablaze this year, and last year CCTV torched its own brand-new tower in its new complex.  These aren’t your town-sponsored fireworks at your local high school.  No no, this is everyone in the city buying and setting off their own ordnance at the same time – from the sidewalk, street, or out the nearest window.  Safe, right?  If you search YouTube you can find some pretty impressive video taken at night during the Spring Festival holiday.

Far West China lists the top five reasons to escape China during Spring Festival, given that you’ve stuck around to witness its celebration once before.

  1. You don’t fall asleep to the sounds of WWIII
  2. You actually have something to do
  3. You don’t have to stock up on a week’s worth of…well, everything
  4. You can walk the streets without fear of accidentally wetting your pants
  5. No need to sit through a TV program that never fails to get more boring every year