Archive | 8:57 am

Smoke flowers and poppers

2 Feb

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Fireworks are an intrinsic part of Chinese culture.  With the invention of gunpowder, “smoke flowers – fireworks” and “poppers – fire crackers” (烟花 & 鞭炮) have illuminated the night skies for battles, parades, weddings and births.  The red packets are ubiquitous this time of year – hawked on street corners and in supermarkets, all with the promise of beautiful and loud results.

Starting in 2011 the Shanghai government proclaimed that certain districts would be firework free for Chinese new year.  I cannot comment on last year as I spent my lunar new year in Thailand, but this year it certainly seemed that the ban was not being enforced.  Judging by the amount of debris all over our complex and the streets surrounding it, the firework lovers were in full force to wish in the year of the dragon.

In full disclosure, I didn’t make it to midnight for Chinese New Year.  A very bad cold and some heavy duty cough syrup caused me to full asleep just short of the goal.  Li did stay up though and took some photos within the apartment complex.  There are two things to consider as you look at these photos.

1) The distance between the apartment and the fireworks themselves.

2) The fact that he took these off of the balcony – that they were this close.

I am surprised that each year we don’t hear of many individuals who were maimed or injured by the powerful fireworks, but perhaps the history and sense of respect is on China’s side.  That said, my windows were firmly closed on New Year’s Eve.

What do fireworks mean to you?

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