An inmate waves a balloon during a ceremony to celebrate the upcoming Spring Festival at the Chuanxi Prison on January 24, 2009 in Chengdu of Sichuan Province, China. A total of 500 inmates who behave well in prisons in Sichuan Province are allowed to spend the Chinese New Year at home. (via The Big Picture)
Chinese New Year’s Eve — handmade jiaozi (dumplings) from scratch, chilean wine, good conversation, CCTV’s ridiculously tacky gala (which 1 billion people across China were also watching) + armfuls of firecrackers that we set off at midnight
…amidst the most awesomely intense mass lighting of fireworks/firecrackers I have ever experienced… up and down the street, and all across Beijing. Full-on, it lasted 30-40 minutes. Constant flashes electrifying the sky, booming explosions that set off every car alarm on the block, the silhouettes of teenagers gleefully dragging ropes of firecrackers across the street through the thick flashpowder smoke.
All in all, pretty sweet. But it was my first chuxi away from my family, and I missed them.
Missed my brother this year, and my cousins and aunts and uncles, but glad and grateful to be able to spend it with my parents, and know everyone is safe and well and I’ll spend other CNYs with them again.