February 9, 2009

Lantern Festival

What happens when 6,000,000 people all buy fireworks and set the off on the same day? Lantern Festival in China. This holiday is like the fourth of July but on some major steroids. The fireworks began early this morning with the aerials starting at 4:30 PM about 30 minutes before the sun goes down. As I sit looking out my window typing this at 9 PM the fireworks haven't let up one bit. It has been a constant stream of fireworks for 4+ hours. The city is becoming more and more smokey so much that the buildings that were visible at the onset of the celebration are covered by the firework haze of smoke.

Lantern Festival is the holiday that celebrates the end of the Spring Festival. It always occurs 14 days after the Chinese New year (or on the 15th day of the first month in the lunar calendar). This has to be my favorite Chinese holiday by far, no words can describe the awesomeness of this many fireworks.

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