Thursday, 7 February 2008

The Year of the Rat and Fireworks!

Now that it is almost 1am the fireworks are slowly dying down (I hope? 'cause I want to get to sleep! ;) )

They've been going since around 7pm so that's 6 hours of non-stop fireworks and fire crackers!! They are so cheap to buy and anyone can buy them and set them off.

If you didn't know already (thanks to Wikipedia):
* The earliest unequivocal documentation of fireworks dates back to 12th century China, where they were first used to frighten away evil spirits with their loud sound ("bian pao") and also to pray for happiness and prosperity.
* The largest manufacturer and exporter of fireworks in the world is China
* Firecrackers, along with fireworks are now thought to have originated in China.
* Firecrackers are especially used in the celebration of Chinese New Year by Chinese communities around the world.
* Early (pre-1920s) Chinese firecrackers (AKA Mandarin firecrackers) were typically 1/2-inch to 2-inches long, and approximately 1/4-inch in diameter, and were charged with black powder. Mandarin crackers produced a less loud, duller thud when they exploded, compared to modern flash light crackers (which utilize a different explosive composition known as flash powder).

I can't believe how long I wished to live in a place (in Sydney) with a harbour view so that I could watch the fireworks from my balcony and I know I'm not in Sydney but I did that tonight! I watched the fireworks from my balcony. Actually, this was not the first time.. There have been a few occasions already since we moved here that we saw fireworks - off the top of my head - the mid-August autumn moon festival, Special Olympics, Christmas and New Year. I got a bit of video footage and took some photos but couldn't stay out long. I was a wee bit excited and realised I should have put on some shoes, a scarf and gloves and probably a thicker coat.. so while I was taking photos in -1 degree weather I was hoping I wouldn't get hypothermia.. LOL... It was incredibly hard to take photos because it is really really foggy and my camera can't seem to focus quick enough in this cold weather, plus my frozen hand couldn't hold the camera well either but oh well... I think I got some nice shots such as the ones below:

Tonight I had dinner with some of my extended family/relatives and it was a big feast cooked by our ayi. I also got a 'hong bao' (red packet) with money inside. I got a couple in Taiwan too while I was there, I feel very lucky! :D

So... Happy New Year of the Rat to everyone! I hope this year brings you much luck and prosperity :) If you want to read the story of the rat you can find it in one of my older entries here.


David & Akin said...

Great blog! - you really do like to talk a lot :)

If you are in Grand Gateway and want to grab a coffee! just drop us an email

Amyee said...

Happy Chinese New Year!!!!!!!!!