Miss Gioia

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Chun Jie Kuai Le!

Happy Spring Festival! Today is the first day of the Golden Pig year. A very auspicious year indeed.

Last night was crazy. We live in a suburban area of Beijing which has lots of open space for lighting of fireworks, so we saw quite the display. The booms echoed all night long, with a creschendo at midnight. Even now, at 9 a.m., fireworks are still going off in the distance.

Our plans to have dinner with friends fell through at the last minute, so we went off to have food by ourselves. We found a fabulous vegetarian restaurant next to a nearby lake. Not only was the food great, but we also had explosions of color going off above the restaurant all throughout the meal.

Chris and I set off some small fireworks - kids fireworks really - after dinner. Then the whole restaurant came outside and lit off *their* fireworks. Big huge boxes that sent up explosions of sparkles and light. Next door, a group of kids were setting off their own, smaller fireworks - bottle rockets and sparkly showers and hovering UFO spinners. Have you ever seen a four year old lighting a firework before? It was really crazy. I have a strange sense of detatchment here. If saw a bunch of kids in the States lighting fireworks, I probably would have called child services. But here... it is normal. Just like not wearing seatbelts in the back of taxis. After a while, you just stop looking.

This is a Chinese Zodiac hanging that is now diplayed on the inside of our front door. I bought it in some hotel shop in Xian while on a business trip. It is actually quite funny that this hanging came from such a cheesy place because I really like the handwork. It has a very folk art feel. Chris said that it reminds him of "Dia de Los Muertos" art, and I think he is right.



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