January 16th, 2009
What’s missing from this article is a list of the roads affected…. but I’m sure notices will be posted in those neighbourhoods. Anyway, won’t affect me, I’ll be in Yanqing where we have a nice, large courtyard in which to set off fireworks. And I’m sure I’ll be the one on fuse-lighting duty, as I always am…. I’m not sure how I acquired that particular responsibility, but never mind, my fuse-lighting duty has so far resulted in only one very minor injury and the mild shock inherent in being far too close to a small explosion.
Uh, but yeah, that article: 93 roads and 7 squares in the vicinity of 105 communities within the Fifth Ring Road will be closed from 11:45pm on Chinese New Year’s Eve/January 25 for half an hour until 12:15am January 26 so that people can let off the traditional New Year fireworks. Departments such as the police, traffic management, and fire brigade are cooperating on this, and the emphasis seems to be very firmly on providing a safe space for people to set off their fireworks. There will even be fire department patrols clearing out flammable materials before fires start and ready to stamp out any fire as soon as it begins.
The only clues as to what roads and squares will be closed for fireworks duty are that most of the roads closed are in Dongcheng and Chongwen Districts, with Chongwen having the largest number at 24. The district with the least closed roads is Chaoyang, with a mere 9. Apparently most of the squares to be closed are in Fengtai, and here we do get two names: 如家世界北广场 and 大瓦窑村空场. I’m not sure if there may be any English names, so if you’re in Fengtai and near those squares (Fengtai is a pretty big district) I hope you recognise at least the Pinyin: Rujia Shijie Bei (North) Guangchang/Square and Dawayao Cun (Village) Kongchang/Square.
Huh. 大瓦窑村- Beijing’s Les Tuileries?
Anyways, it may well be worth your while to look out for road-closure notices posted in your neighbourhood. I mean, you might as well join in the fun, and if your neighbourhood has one of these safe firework zones, better to do it there where help will not be far away.
As for those of us who will be out in the countryside, we are fortunate to have so much more space available for such things. And although I’ll most likely be the one lighting fuses, my father in law will be close by, and we’re both pretty careful with such things. I just hope we don’t get stuck with poor-quality fakes like that time I blew my hand up.