Saturday, February 17, 2007

Let's Party Like...

It’s 1999 2007 4705

Tonight China says good bye to 4704 and the year of the Dog and welcomes the Golden Pig and 4705.

While Jeffrey is in the plane coming back from France, I’m in front of my TV watching the famous CCTV (no it’s not Closed Caption TV it’s Chinese Central TV!!) New Year’s Gala with the sound of loud non-stop fireworks and firecrackers in the background. So the night was going smoothly i.e. watching a nice program on TV without understanding a word of what it was all about (and it’s not only because of the loud noise outside) when I started to go see what was on other channels and I realized to my astonishment that I wasn’t watching the right show on TV, I wasn’t watching THE famous New Year Show followed by 800 millions people in China (yes you read right eight hundred million people). That’s a big audience (Super Bowl with more or less 100 million people is not playing in the same league -Official figure varies from 93 to 141 million-). Good thing I realized my mistake on time or I would have looked really foolish tomorrow while talking to my friends!!!! Shame on me!.

If you could only hear the noise too

23.45 and I thought the noise was bad all night long… that was nothing compared to what was about to start: the most amazing fireworks I’ve ever seen. From the corner window of my bedroom I have a 180° view of so many fireworks that my head is spinning from trying to see them all. It seems like every courtyard, every family is competing to send the best sparkles in the Beijing’s sky. It’s full of colors and for once it’s not the pollution but the reds, greens and blues of the fireworks (the pollution and the gun powder smell will come later). Again safety is not an issue, I am pretty sure the safety measures are not taken into consideration…fires are lit within feet of people standing around.
By 00.30 the relative calm is back, I still can hear some sparks being sent off but the big ones are slowly calming down…. 45 minutes of an extraordinary spectacle, like if the all experience was not about a fireworks but about 45 minutes of Finale. I pretty sure it will be on my mind each time I’ll “celebrate” Chinese New Year or even see a firework in the future.