You know that the quantity of fireworks I described in my previous post has to leave some kind of a mess behind. On Sunday I woke up around 8:30 and went out to see what the streets looked like. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that a cleanup effort was already in full swing.
In the Seasons Park driveway, a staff member was sweeping up the piles of tiny scraps of red paper.
A little further along, I got a taste of what it looked like before the sweeping.
Here’s a close view of some dead soldiers.
For lunch, I went to the KFC in my neighborhood. (I wonder why I went there…?)
Around 5 I took a taxi out to Chaoyang Park, where I had heard there was some kind of activity going on. I got out across the street at a massive high-rise condo complex called Palm Springs that has this statue out front. Palm Springs makes Seasons Park look like a country inn.
I’ve been to Chaoyang Park before, though not when there was a crowd. Here’s a picture from a previous day showing the big pig out front. (Year of the Pig, remember?)
On New Year’s Day, the place was much busier. Getting there at the time I did, I must have missed some of the festivities – there were streams of people coming out as I went in – but the were signs for a “Lights Show” so I figured there had to be something to see ahead of me.
There were a lot of typical country fair sights, like a midway with stuffed animals for prizes. Though I’d swear Tigger is supposed to have stripes…
It was a pretty chilly day for a carnival, but some of the rides were going, including the water coaster…
...and the ski slope.
The swimming pool has been turned into a fishing pond for the little ones.
Finally I found myself in the northwest part of the park, and the entrance to the Lights Show.
They have dozens of these displays made of wire (I think) frames covered with fabric and lit from within. Several of them have “rides” built into them, where for a few yuan kids can ride around in the midst of the scene.
They also had lots of costumed characters. So often when I’m here in China, I just have to smile and be amused. I’m not even sure what to say about the selection of characters or their individual appearances.
There were lots of booths selling silly hats. (Since there were people everywhere taking pictures, it was easy for me to take pictures of people without them being offended, or probably even noticing.)
I caught a show of a youth group doing traditional drumming. It reminded me very much of the Japanese taiko drumming I’ve seen at Bumbershoot in Seattle, only with fancier costumes.
The light displays drew inspiration from a wide variety of sources, from traditional…
…to more modern. (It might be hard to tell from this picture, but several things in this display look suspiciously like characters from A Bug’s Life.)
After all that walking around in the cold, I caught a taxi back to my neighborhood and relaxed in the warmth of China ClubFootball for a steak pie and a pint Tsingtao while Manchester United played to a draw with Reading in an FA Cup match on the big screen. JW, KW and TG stopped by after a bit and we watched the first half of Manchester City playing Preston in another FA Cup match.