Reading The Shanghaiist yesterday (a very good China blog), I came across this post about a Xi'an street which nearly went up in flames this week.
The original Chinese news article about the fire can be found here. If you click through on the link, you can see a pretty wicked video at the top of the page of what went on at the scene.
Here are a few pictures from the destruction:
The street which caught fire is really quite close to where I live and work. Although the fire happened about a mile or so away from me, I was completely unaware of it. I was probably in class or eating lunch when it happened.
One might wonder how a street could be so consumed with simple fireworks. In fact, it is easy to understand how and why when you consider that stands like these are everywhere these days leading up to the Chinese New Year:
Beginning about a week ago, random fireworks have been going off day and night. Store owners stand outside their shops dropping little firecrackers as they go about their daily business. Children, who are on their winter vacation, also play with them well into the night.
The climax of fireworks will be Sunday night, lunar New Year's Eve. From about 11:00PM until 12:30AM, there will be a steady unceasing stream of fireworks being lit. It is quite an experience.
This year, I will be spending New Year's Eve with Jackie and about 15 of her relatives at her Aunt's house. It is going to be awesome. I can count on eating delicious homemade dumplings, playing ma jiang, drinking plenty of beer and baijiu, and playing with copious amounts of fireworks.
The Chinese know how to do their holidays right!