2) Let me tell you something about China: They love fireworks. Rarely a day goes by that you don't hear something exploding. And it has greatly increased over Chinese New Year.
Monday, I woke up to the sound of fireworks/firecrackers. I came home from work and saw fireworks being shot off behind my apartment building. When I went out later to meet my coworker to go see the Lantern Festival, I saw no less than 10 different fireworks displays. It was awesome.
The Lantern Festival is a special celebration during Chinese New Year. It was described to me as being like Christmas Eve. Of course, I'm not so sure about the significance of Christmas Eve celebrations either, but I figured it's a nice time to go out and see some lights. Jessi found out about it at church and invited me to go after work, so we got on the bus to go see the Lantern Festival by Fuzimiao (the Confuscius Temple area). On the bus we saw another coworker, Celine, with her roommate going the same place. We followed them around because it was very crowded and they seemed like they knew what was going on. They were friends with a police officer, who kindly ushered us onto a boat for an evening river cruise. On the boat, we saw some girls with masks, and when I said their masks were pretty, they gave them to us! Over the speakers, there was a narration with the history of the area, but it was in Chinese, so I kind of only half paid attention. But the lanterns on the streets and the lights on the river were very beautiful. We walked (and rode) around for a couple of hours before going home.
Photos from the Lantern Festival:
|From the Boat|
Over the weekend, I continued to explore the metro (finally finished it), caught up with my friend Natalie over a cup of tea, played Scrabble at a local bar, watched TV, and had lunch with some of the FTs from the other center. Very relaxing.