In February, back in 2014, I attended a Chinese New Year celebration here in China. I have been living in China since 2009, and I would like to share that new year experience with you.
Many foreigners living in Suzhou, China, enjoy the experience of going to Shiquan Street. It is due to the many western bars and restaurants there. I spent a portion of the Chinese New Year in 2014 at a trendy place called Jane's Pub Bar, but unfortunately, she sold the establishment in 2017, it is now an Irish pub that becomes jammed packed on St. Patrick’s Day, but I will leave that for a different column.
I was not aware that on the Chinese New Year in 2014, a huge firework display would go off in front of Jane's Pub Bar to usher in the new year. I got more enjoyment from watching how excited the locals got when setting the fireworks off. I quickly pulled out my BlackBerry phone to capture part of the moment on film.
We Americans rely heavily on public safety, so seeing the fireworks going off while the street was still open for traffic was pretty alarming. No one seemed to mind, though, and we enjoyed watching the night sky light up with booming bursts of exploding energy.
When the show ended, and the smoke cleared, a beautiful Chinese woman ran up and gave me a big kiss and yelled, "Happy new year, Tom." That was quite exhilarating, too, and since that moment, I've become a huge fan of the Chinese New Year.
This year 2022, marks the year of the water tiger, and hopefully, the tiger will scare away the COVID 19 virus and bring some normalcy back to the world; we certainly can use more normalcy no matter where we live.
Here is a link to the fireworks display from 2014. Thomas F O'Neill celebrating the 2014 Chinese New Year in Suzhou, China in front of Jane's Pub Bar; on youtube. .
- Always with love from Suzhou, China
Thomas F O’Neill
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