新年快乐! Happy New Year!

Monkey

It’s New Year’s Eve in China.  At 3:00 p.m., enthusiasts began lighting fireworks, though out the evening will increase in frequency until midnight, when for a brief instant, the sky will light up in a kaleidoscope of color and cacophony of noise, when all of China sets off their fire works at the same time.   I wish I could see a picture of this from space.   For a moment, China would be transformed into a dynamic watercolor painting of shifting hues.

The Chinese New Year’s celebrations are to the Chinese as Christmas celebrations are to most American Christians.  There are lots of traditions, family and friend gatherings, great food, and vacation time.  The city is silent.  Most taxi and bus drivers are at home with their families.  Only the most enterprising are available for hire even on New Year’s Eve.

Invited for dinner at a friend’s house, we ate a traditional fare of fish, pork, meat, and vegetable dishes and then settled in to watch CCTV1 and the national show celebrating New Year’s Eve with pageantry, comedy, traditional music, opera, and modern music.  It is a compendium of culture, and it is beautiful to watch.

I love the United States, but I must admit that China’s culture shines best on New Year’s Eve and it is a delight to behold.

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