Spring Festival wouldn’t be Spring Festival without fireworks any less than positing Christmas without presents, or Halloween without candy. But come the Lunar New Year, our fair city descends into cacophonous chaos when the fireworks start flying.
Of course I’m all for free-wheeling festivities, but the older I get, the thinner my threshold becomes for things that go bang in the night (and that especially applies to our amorous upstairs neighbors).
This is why I fully support this piece of news concerning the ban of fireworks around Olympic venues. The city, it would seem, is smarting from the fire that flared up in the Olympic ping pong venue at the Peking University Gymnasium this past July, and have banned fireworks sellers from setting up shop within 100 meters of Beijing’s 31 Olympic venues.
This is welcome news in our household – though not because we’re over-the-top Olympic boosters, but more so because we feel it’s a step in the right direction: last year’s 14-plus straight days of SNAP! CRACKLE! POP! BANG AND BOOM!!! during Spring Festival had our cat cowering in fear and put rings under our eyes.
I’m not advocating an outright ban on fireworks, but wouldn’t it be nice if there were some way to encourage people to give it a rest after, say, the first week of Spring Festival? We get the point already …
I suppose constantly getting rattled awake last Chun Jie was good training in a sense, considering that this Spring Festival we’ll be doing the same (getting rattled awake, that is) with our new baby. But psyched as we are about our first foray into parenting, the double whammy of middle-of-the-night feedings mixed with the constant din of non-stop window-rattling explosions has me ruing the day they lifted the ban on setting off fireworks within city limits (and hence, repeatedly under our bedroom window at all hours for days on end).
Our more experienced friends assure us that newborns can sleep through anything – and I believe them … but being a light sleeper runs in our family, and when San Shen (Chinese New Year’s Eve) rolls around, I fully expect to be cowering in the corner with my shell-shocked cat.