February 10, 2013 was the 1st day of the Chinese New Year (Spring Festival). Based on the Chinese Zodiac this year is the year of the Snake, which also happens to be my sign.
Beijing is usually jam-packed crowded, but since the 1st of January Ive been seeing people with small suitcases traveling up and down the subways as though they were going back home, and very gradually there would be less and less people until February 10 when all those who were supposed to go home, went home.
My university treated foreigners left behind, the workers and some others to a Spring Festival dinner in the cafeteria yesterday. It felt a little bit like what Christmas should have felt like. They had chicken, shrimp, beef, different types of bread and rice and Chinese Dumplings (jiaozi 饺子）. I love jiaozi! And it’s also traditional for them to be eaten during Spring Festival.
Then the fireworks began. They rang all through the night and even into the morning. Every night since then I’ve seen or heard at least one fireworks display. Sometimes there’s so many going off at once it sounds like a war zone. I guess I’ve never been so close to fireworks before.
So, next year when Christmas comes and I’m wondering how the Beijingers can go about their business as though it’s a normal day, now I will understand.