Last night we celebrated Chinese New Year (or Spring Festival, as it is also called) with Qi’s family. We watched the CCTV Spring Festival TV show, a combination of stand-up comedians, songs (modern and traditional), dance and short sketches. Even though China becomes more modern, it is still a must for most people to see this program, and it has the highest ratings of all programs on TV. It’s not really my kind of program, so during the show I could catch up on several magazines that I did not have time to read during the past month.
Around 10 PM it started to get difficult to understand the program because of the noise of all the fireworks outside, and around 11:45 we all decided to watch the sky instead of the screen. Until 12:30 AM I watched the fireworks from their balcony. They live on the top floor of an apartment building, and it was an amazing sight. The sky was quite clear, so we could see several kilometers in to the west, east and south. The sky was continuously lit up in red, yellow, green and white colors from all the fireworks that were set off. The sounds were like being in a war zone, and it was impossible to talk to each other because of the loud bangs.
After watching the fireworks the family decided to make jiaozi (dumplings) by hand. This is also a Chinese tradition. They prepared several big plates of jiaozi, and were finished by 2:30 AM. Many Chinese traditionally stay up the whole night during the first night of the New Year to make sure the Nian (a monster) cannot come into their house to bring bad luck, but luckily Qi’s family did not follow that tradition. Sleeping was not easy though, because the lightning of fireworks went on the whole night. And people are still setting off fireworks while I am writing this (it’s afternoon now). The jiaozi were great by the way, much better than the frozen ones that you buy in the supermarket. I just had a big plate of them for lunch, and likely will have a lot more during the next days.