Chinese New Year Day

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1-30-2014

It is the year of the Horse. Today is the Chinese New Year. WOW! You think July 4th is noisy. I think I am in a war zone here. It all started at 6 AM for me. The fireworks have been non-stop all day. You walk outside into a haze of smoke, the smell of gunpowder, and the noises of firecrackers and aerial explosions. China wanted the people to reduce the amount of fireworks they used this year. I don’t think too many have listened. The air pollution is horrible right now. It is nearly 11 PM and the fireworks are still going on. ALL DAY!!!!!!

I went out a couple of times today. This evening I took some videos. It will take some time to upload them for your viewing. But, with most videos, you really do have to be here to get the full experience.

I also got to watch China’s Spring Festival TV Gala tonight. Granted, I was not able to experience the comedy skits or understand the words to the music. But, it was a wonderful show to watch. It is one of the most watched shows in the world. This variety show is a major production. I might try to find a video to show you on the blog later. It really is fun to watch. The TV Gala is expected to have nearly 1 billion people watch it worldwide. How does that compare with other programs? Well, let’s see:

  • Gala: 700 million – 1 billion
  • 2008 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony 984 million
  • Man on the Moon in 1969: 530 million
  • Elvis Live in Hawaii in 1973: 450 million
  • JKF Funeral: 180 million
  • Wedding of Prince William and Kate: 375 million
  • MASH Farewell episode: 106 million
  • 2013 Super Bowl: 109 million

Many stores were closed today, much like Christmas in the USA. By 3 PM, the majority of any others were closed. Red Lanterns adorn trees, lamp posts, and overhangs of buildings. Red banners hang on doors and windows. And, people are with their families having large feasts, giving presents to family members, and just celebrating family. I will say that I will be glad when it is finished. But, the Chinese celebrate for the next 15 days. I am excited to see the Lantern Festival. At night, the sky will be filled with fire lanterns. That should be a site.

For the past few days, I have been preparing lesson plans for my trip to Beijing on February 7th. I get to teach 30 high school students from Inner Mongolia. This will be such a treat for me. I hope to learn much from them. That part of China is fascinating to me. Of course I will keep you informed of my experiences in Beijing.

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