Last night was the Lantern Festival, which is held 15 days into the [Chinese/Lunar] New Year and marks the official end of the Chinese New Year celebrations.
It used to be that children carried lit up lanterns, though, from what I understand, this has largely been discontinued for safety purposes.
Nowadays, large public lantern displays are set up in public areas, like the lanterns I saw at Yangshuo Park the other night.
The lanterns already covered, last night the big thing was fireworks on the Li River. Quite literally the whole town came down to the waterfront (even the front desk staff at my hotel closed up shop) to view, what was in my opinion, a pretty darn spectacular show for such a small town!
All said, it was quite a magical evening. The sheer energy of the entire town crowding around the waterfront to watch this spectacle was just amazing!
Tonight, which I expect will be my last night in Yangshuo, I am splurging (RMB 160…US$23) on a ticket to this mammoth outdoor theatrical production that was directed by the same fellow who created the impressive Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. Should be interesting!
P.S….I also shot a short video of the fireworks display, which I unfortunately can’t show you yet, as it is too big of a file to upload directly onto my site and YouTube (along with blogging and social networking sites with the odd exception of MySpace) is completely inaccessible in China. But you’ll see it eventually…I promise!