What's that? Is it thunder? Is it World War 3? Is it the Second Coming? No, nope, and not yet. It is Chinese New Year! The rumbling outside isn't from clouds, the window shaking vibrations are not from bombing runs, and things streaking through the air have nothing to do with heaven meeting earth-- its fireworks! And the grandest, most colorful, most celebrative and joyous fireworks you have ever seen, at that. Seriously. The Weasley twins must have studied in China. Gandalf himself must have been Chinese. Because the display that covers all of China on the eve of the lunar New Year is nothing short of magical.
In other places in the world you go and watch fireworks. Here, it is like being inside a firework. Cities in China don't put on firework displays for the New Year. There is no need. When over a billion people all start lighting off fireworks and firecrackers at the same time, the whole country becomes a firework display. Explosions are above you, behind you, all around you. Flashes and pops and cracks and booms fill the streets for hours on end. Rockets zoom into the air, streaking and flying and screaming unto their final blaze of glory and wonder.
Happy New Year everyone. May it be as full of color and light as mine has been so far.