Misadventures in Shanghai, China: Lunar New Year/Spring Festival Firework Extravaganza

Somehow, I had completely forgotten about Chinese New Year when I booked my flight to China. Even when Shanghai blogger MaryAnne Oxendale (from Wok with Me Baby – Cooking Non-Chinese Food in China) told me she was leaving town to experience Spring Festival in Thailand, I still didn’t get it (to be fair, I didn’t quite know what Spring Festival was yet).

It took Cdub the Philosopher, our Thirsty Thursday contributor, talking about her Salon97 Chinese New Year music listening party to snap me out of my ignorant daze and start me on the path towards enlightened excitement.

On my first day here, D.E. and I rushed out to Carrefour, a large French supermarket, to buy food and, of course, decorations for our celebrations. It’s possible our decorations are all completely wrong and even potentially offensive, but hey, we love the way they look.

The cartoon dragon is my favorite.

Around noon on January 22, New Year’s Eve, the fireworks started and I don’t exaggerate when I say that they continued for 48 straight hours with no respite.

Fireworks right in front of the house.


As it got darker, the boom boom boom increased, climaxing at midnight when the whole world seemed to be exploding. Every nook on every street as far as we could see was full of impressively large displays of pyrotechnics, the kind only large municipalities and corporations can afford back in the States and definitely the kind that need a special license to operate. Here, however, it seems everyone is a pyrotechnician, including children in the low-income projects next to our apartment complex.

We put in earplugs and went to bed around 1 a.m., positive that the continuous boom boom boom would abate soon but after a restless sleep full of nightmares of bombs and air-rades (do not come to Shanghai for Spring Festival if you suffer from PTSD from war) we realized our ignorance.

I used to be a firework enthusiast, but, after the Spring Festival, if I never hear a firework again for as long as I live I’ll die happy.

Ok, not really, I still love fireworks, but, like with any massive exhausting extended celebration, I’m happy that the calm after the storm is here – at least until the revelers are given another excuse to party.

About Queerie Bradshaw

Lauren Marie Fleming is a writer, speaker and motivator known for her intimate, informative and often hilarious look at sex, relationships and body-image. Lauren runs the critically-acclaimed QueerieBradshaw.com blog, writes for major news sources including VICE, Nerve, Huffington Post and Curve, and is the author of her memoir Losing It: My Life as a Sex Blogger. In 2013, Lauren founded Frisky Feminist Press (FriskyFeminist.com) as a way to enhance conversations about sexuality through educational guides, online classes and entertaining publications. A law school graduate, Lauren has spoken all over the United States and is internationally recognized for her dynamic, engaging style. In everything she does, Lauren’s goal is to educate, remove stigmas and encourage people to achieve their desires.
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