Partly due to tradition but mostly because playing with fireworks during the New Year celebration is a lot of fun. Admit it or not, there is a big kid in all of us that just loves playing with fire and making things go bang. New Year in China is the time when that big kid is allowed to play with fireworks and have fun.
Plumes of sulphurous smoke cover streets and buildings, showers of sparks surround you, multicoloured lights bursting in the sky overhead, round the clock continuous cacophony of percussive explosions and every where you look, fireworks are going off with ear shattering frequency. Celebrating New Year with fireworks is fun!!!
Traditionally people believed that the fire and noise from fireworks scared away evil spirits and bad luck in the New Year. Chinese are very big believers in luck and make sure the New Year starts with lots of very noisy and exciting fireworks.
If you are lucky enough to be in China during the New Year celebrations, you will feel like you are in a war zone on New Year’s eve. You will be surrounded by the continuous deafening explosions and flashes of cascading light.
The firework peak is New Year’s eve but fireworks will be going off regularly from 15 days before New Year’s eve to 15 days after. Sleep can be a little difficult with fireworks going off all hours of the day and night but that is just part of the fun. If you are a light sleeper, best to buy earplugs.
The Downside – Fireworks are dangerous
Fireworks were banned in most cities until 2006 and are now only legal during the New Year period when licensed street side stands like the one above sprout like mushrooms. Every year people are killed and injured and numerous blazes started. In the first 32 hours of the New Year holiday last year there was over 6,000 fires reported from fireworks and a five star hotel was destroyed in Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning province here in north east China. Luckily there were no casualties at least in the hotel fire.
So get New Year is a great time to get out and enjoy this fantastic part of Chinese culture and have fun with fireworks. Just remember to be careful.