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Chinese New Year in Shanghai is crazy (see for yourself)

chinesenewyearshanghai2006.jpgChinese New Year in Shanghai. I have to imagine there is nothing quite like it in the world. It is loud, chaotic, beautiful, violent, smokey, exhilarating, drunken, dangerous and red. It is 2:59 a.m. and I can still hear fireworks in the distance. They started before dark Saturday evening and built to a riotous climax at midnight. We’re talking fireworks — not firecrackers[1] — the big, light-up-the-sky kind. And they are set off in every neighborhood, from almost every street corner, and often right in the middle of the street. Again, again and again. The city glows. It ignites. It howls and cackles. It is warlike in a way. It is a spectacle that begs to be experienced.

But, I understand that is not possible for all of you. So, I’ll try to give you a taste. We watched the madness from a great location, the rooftop of a tall apartment high-rise downtown. I won’t say the exact location, because the way we accessed the roof was a little … um … sketchy. But it was worth it. Here are two video clips, one from the bottom of the building, and one from the top:

View from the ground, 11:59 p.m. (10.9 MB)
View from above ground, 12:06 a.m. (7.6 MB)

I took several photos, too. And some of them were actually almost in focus. Actually, a couple ended up looking pretty cool:

Chinese New Year in Shanghai album at Flickr

Brad has some truly spectacular fireworks photos, too. They start right here.

Okay, I need to get some sleep. I’ve sobered up now, and I have a feeling the war is going to resume outside my window in a few hours. Each morning starts with a bang for the better part of week. Gotta love Spring Festival — or else it will drive you crazy.

Happy Year of the Dog, everyone!

Direct link to the photo above right here. No one was hurt during filming.

[1] But, yes, there are plenty of firecrackers, too.

01.29.2006, 2:57 AM · Diary, Photos, Video · Comments (5)

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Shanghai Diaries is a website about Shanghai, China ... and lots of other stuff. Voted Best Mainland China Blog in the 2004 Asia Blog Awards.

Editor: Dan Washburn

Related: Shanghaiist and Mudan Boutique

Dan is a freelance writer living in Shanghai. More about Dan.

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