Fireworks! Fireworks! Fireworks!
The main display of fireworks was leading up to midnight on Chinese New Year’s Eve but there was a steady banging of fireworks for at least a week. Then it slowed down and on the last night, the night of the Lantern Festival, the fireworks picked up again.
We walked around our neighborhood the first night as it was getting dark. We didn’t want to go into town after the New Year’s celebration in Shanghai that resulted in a stampede and several deaths. We couldn’t see much walking around, too many skyscrapers. But we could see the remnants of people setting off their own fireworks. It turns out, fireworks are illegal here, but only sort of. You are allowed to set them off for a certain period of time on the holiday. As we approached our apartment building, there were people setting fireworks off in the street so we stopped at watched for a little while before going in to avoid injuries that got all the same type of fireworks banned in the US when we were kids.
We tried to watch the New Year’s Gala on tv, but it was really really lame. After the kids went to bed, and midnight approached, we could see tons of fireworks off our eastern sun porch (photos and film taken towards the north gate of campus, right near our building) from the same spot on the street where people had been setting them off earlier.
From our sun porch toward the gate.
On the street in front of our gate.
The main restriction on fireworks is due to air pollution. This the air quality on Chinese New Year’s Eve. Around 10 pm it jumped from a low “Moderate” to a low “Hazardous.”
A lot of stuff shuts down. We stocked up on a few days worth of food/meals not knowing for sure what the grocery store would be like. We also stayed home a lot so I’m not totally sure, but I think mainly the grocery store just closed much earlier. We ordered food a few times and there was always a notice up on the website showing special hours for the holiday. And to get water delivered, we just call a number and say “one” which tells them to deliver one bottle to the address associated with our phone number. I’m pretty sure we had water delivered either on the eve or on the day of the New Year. But when we ran out maybe 1 1/2 -2 1/2 days later, they didn’t answer for 2-3 days. Luckily grocery stores were open by then so we just got the big gallon jugs that fit on the water dispenser for a couple days.