Wicked Little Town

China's Spring Festival 본문


China's Spring Festival

민둥 2011. 2. 20. 03:43
Spring festival is the first day of new (lunar) year and most of the Asian people celebrate this day. In Korea, we have three days vacation on this occasion and we visit our families and hold memorial rites for our ancestors. China also celebrates this day, but it means much more for Chinese people. They take vacation of almost ten days from the first day before the start of the spring festival. During the festival time, most of the people leave their town and visit their families. They buy train tickets a month before the spring festival because buying tickets near the vacation time is really impossible. Most of the restaurants or shops are closed during the vacation and some of them even take a month off.

China is very famous for playing fireworks during the spring festival. From a long time, Chinese people have a belief that those noisy sounds defeat ghosts. Therefore, they light up the fireworks at any time of day and night. Chinese government allows people to play with fireworks from the end of January to the fifteenth day of February. During the season, a number of firecracker shops line up in the street and people buy unbelievably huge amounts of the fireworks. I heard that 1/3rd of the fireworks among the total consumption in a year are used during the spring festival days.

On the first day of the vacation, I suddenly woke up because of some noisy sounds. It was a surprisingly big explosion sound and I thought a war has occurred while I was asleep. I have previously heard about this before I came to China, but it was even worse than I had expected. I thought fireworks can only be played at night, but the sounds were never ending and echoed like a parade from each and every street of the city. Streets were covered with smoke and firework trash, which made the condition even worse. It was very scary at first sight and I had a headache because of continuous noise all day long.

However, when the sun went down, the city was lightened up with fireworks all over the sky. It was such a beautiful moment, though I had been enduring a very long annoying day. I’d never seen eight hours of continuous fireworks in my entire life and that too just in front of me. There were various kinds of fireworks. Some of them made the sky look even brighter than the day time and some of them only created loud noise. While several others just scared me because they resembled guns when fired. One of the funny things was that lights at the hallway of the building automatically turned on/off by censoring the sound created by the fire crackers. Consequently, when there was a noise, the lights of the nearby buildings turned on together at the same time with the fireworks and this made the sight even flashier.

Fireworks continued for subsequent fifteen days. Some of the days were relatively calm and some of them were filled with unbearable noise; the only thing which was uniform was that the people never stopped playing fireworks. This unique tradition has already become one of the famous tourist attractions and many foreigners actually come to China to watch these colorful fireworks during the spring festival season.

Nevertheless, playing fireworks is temptingly beautiful but it also has a dark reverse side. A number of accidents occur every year because of the fireworks. Last year, a big fire broke out at CCTV building and it is still considered as a hideous object of Beijing. This year, one of the most important cultural properties which have a history of thousand years was also destroyed due to fire. Every year, several people die or lose their eye sight due to the consequences of fire works. Chinese government makes every effort to prevent these disasters, but no one can stop this crazy tradition. I really hope that Chinese government could set up some good measures to prevent danger and damages caused due to the firework. After a few years when I visit China again, I want to see beautiful fireworks without any drastic consequences.

By the way, I will be going back to Korea tomorrow morning along with the special memories. Now I really miss Korea, but I am sure that I will miss China too when I will reach back to my place. I wonder and expect about the developments in China, when I will visit the place next time.
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