Our very first Chinese New Year spent in China was a good one (make sure to check out our video below!) Although, we were slightly disappointed by the lack of red dragons, parades and other “Chinese’y” things we associate with this holiday back in North America. On MSN it listed the best places to celebrate the Chinese New Year as places in the U.S! We figured that by actually being in China, we’d have a much more authentic experience and there would be loads of parties. Whenever we asked our Chinese friends where the best place to see the fireworks would be, or where the best festivities would be, they all kind of looked at us with a blank stare. It turns out that Chinese people just stay home with their families during this time.
So, we got together with some of our foreign friends and went out to our favourite restaurant, Dongbei, the only place that was open on the entire street! The lovely family was happy to see us and since we eat there about 2 times a week, we came bearing a gift of a massive grapefruit. The owner was very grateful. We feasted on delicious fried pork, spicy tofu, dumplings, fried green beans, stewed beef, chicken innards, pork and vegetables wrapped in tofu rind, rice and a fruit platter given to us by the family for dessert. So good!
From there we all went back to our friend’s house and played board games, drank some more and waited until midnight to hit the streets and light off some fireworks. At about 11:45, it sounded like bombs were going off outside of the apartment and we all headed out to partake in firework show. The sky was glowing with fireworks and the gunshot sounds were echoing off of all the apartment buildings, it really felt like a war-zone. We’ve never seen so many fireworks going off at one time, especially not on sidewalks or in between apartment complexes, it was quite the show! The air was cloudy and we were literally chewing on grit from all the smoke and chemicals that had just been lit off by millions of people.
The Chinese invented fireworks and they set them off any chance they get. We see fireworks almost every day, but during the Chinese New Year, they were going off in full force. Had we been in Shanghai or Hong Kong or a bigger city like that, maybe our experience would have been different. Either way, we enjoyed our night with our friends and are looking forward to the upcoming Lantern Festival. We’re thinking of making our way to the province’s capital, Nanjing, to see what’s going on there.