What a BANG! Chinese New Year 2012

On Sunday, January 22, in a deafening blitz of pyrotechnics, more than a billion Chinese rang in the new lunar year – the 4,710th of the Chinese calendar, if you’re counting.  We bought fireworks at the neighborhood fireworks stand to be part of the bang.

Buying fireworks.

We celebrated in true traditional Chinese style.  Sepia was inspired to make  ji rou jaiozi, (chicken dumplings).

Sepia making dumplings.

She did a great job, and they were delicious.  Along with dumplings we also prepared 5 other dishes of poached salmon, sauteed bok choy, stir fried brown rice, nuts & chopped parsley, bean shoot salad for our feast. It was important to serve an even number of dishes for this special meal and to begin eating at 10pm.  At 8pm, on CCTV the annual New Year Extravaganza started and went until 12 midnight.  For dessert we served sliced Chinese pears and chocolates.

At 11:15pm we went outside to let off our fireworks like the rest of Beijingers.

Fireworks from our apartment window.

One of our fireworks going off!

Traditional Chinese New Year red envelopes are given out as gifts which are filled money.

Entrance to Ritan Park in front of our building someone let off an insane amount of fireworks. Here is a video of us walking back to our apartment.   It was like this all night and into the next 2 weeks straight.  Lots of fun, kinda crazy and very loud!

Here it is:  Bang! video

Ditan Park Temple Fair.

Firework debris just on one corner.

Beijing’s temples and parks open their gates at Spring Festival for miao hui, raucous social events that integrate fun, commerce and a smidgen of spirituality.

Enjoying skewers at Dongyue Fair.

Hanging displays around Ditan Park for the Temple Fair.

Thousands enjoy the Ditan Temple Fair.

Max and Mr. Mao at Dongyue Temple Fair.

Shane and the kids at the entry to Ditan Park.

Dongyue Temple Fair in the east of the city dates back to the Yuan Dynasty, with five days of drum troupes, opera singers, storytellers, calligraphers and acrobats.

Stilt-walkers and puppet shows will keep the kids occupied, but they’ll have more fun at Ditan Park Temple Fair trying to win a cuddly toy at one of dozens of carnival sideshows. Throngs of locals cram Ditan’s pathways, scoffing grilled mutton skewers and candied hawberries while sporting the must-have novelty accessory of the season.

Shop owner letting off a couple hundred fireworks during the day to scare off any monsters.