in People's Republic of China

Chinese new year, streets of Shanghai

Chinese New Year’s, something to look forward to, but also something to fear. As Chinese New Year’s is the biggest holiday of the year in China, it’s hard for a foreigner to get into the same spirit. After all, christmas and New Years are far behind us already. It’s kind of fun to spectate the celebration.

According to tales and legends, the beginning of Chinese New Year started with the fight against a mythical beast called the Nien (Chinese: 年; pinyin: nián), attacking livestock, crops, and even villagers, especially children. To protect, they put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year. It was believed that after the Nien ate the food they prepared, it wouldn’t attack any more people. One time, people saw that the Nien was scared away by a little child wearing red. The villagers then understood that the Nien was afraid of the colour red. Hence, every time when the New Year was about to come, the villagers would hang red lanterns and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. People also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nien. From then on, Nien never came to the village again. The Nien was eventually captured by hong jun lao zu, an ancient Taoist monk. The Nien became hong jun lao zu’s mount. (wiki)

The fireworks start at a quarter before twelve midnight, and continue until the fifteenth day of the lunar new year. This morning (I’m writing this new years day), the ‘explosions’ started again at 7.  Air quality – So interesting to look at @BeijingAir reports as the night went on. By midnight it was Hazardous, doubtless from the incessant explosions.