I thought I’d missed the timeliness boat for posting this video since Chinese New Year is supposedly over, but since the fireworks keep raging — even at 11:30 a.m. on a Saturday — I feel quite within the bounds of seasonal commentary.
The Chinese people love their fireworks. The government severely restricts internet usage and child births, yet during Chinese New Year, all rules are tossed into the blaze for a weeklong pyro-orgy.
How bad can a few firecrackers be? Well, a major skyline-defining building may burn down from time to time. For me, the sound is the worst part. The sporadic bursts boom like what I imagine a warzone to be like, while long strings of explosives sound like rain. The prolonged assault on the ears wears down natural flinch reflexes, leaving me with feelings somewhere between dazed, frightened and enraged.
It’s not just the frisky young kids who get in on this. It’s the old people, too. The old people who have been put through the Cultural Revolution, who have seen the air turn a pallid grey in their lifespan, who have survived the lead-tainted products, undrinkable water and unbreathable air. It is they who light the firecrackers long into the night, laughing as they watch them burn.