Feb 2, 2009
by Liu Zhaoxin
Despite the shadow cast by the deepening global financial crisis, the heart of China, Beijing, celebrated the Chinese New Year of Ox loudly and brightly with tons of fireworks and firecrackers, bidding a farewell to the eventful Year of Rat. Starting from the New Year Eve, the sky over Beijing was lit up by the world’s biggest uncoordinated fireworks display as firecrackers exploded throughout the city the whole night until the early morning the next day.
This year the sales volume of the fireworks in Beijing was reported up 37 percent from the previous year, with over 230,000 firework packages sold by a single Sunday, said Xinhua. According to the merchants in Shi Ji Tan Fireworks Stall in the Xicheng District of Beijing, the price of fireworks this year was at the same level as the last year, ranging from 20RMB to 1000RMB with the most selling contributing by those 50 to 300RMB ones. Averagely, purchasers spent around 500 to 1500RMB (equivalent to about 70 to 220 US dollars) on fireworks this year, with an apparent increase from last year. Stunningly, 2268 tons of wrecks and orts of fireworks were cleaned up on the streets on the morning after the New Year Eve.
The Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival, is the biggest holiday celebrated among Chinese people. It is the time when families and friends get together to say goodbye to the old and welcome the new.
With the global financial crisis bursting upon and escalating during the second half last year, the China’s economic outlook this year becomes growingly gloomy. The annual growth of Chinese economy in 2008 was down to a seven-year low of 9 percent while the fourth quarter’s was as low as 6.8 percent. Thousands of factories have closed in southeast coastline, seriously stricken by the sharp reduction of export. Despite the year dampened by economic downturn, citizens in Beijing had not compromised their annual celebration. Contrarily, they seemed more than happy to farewell the old year loudly and welcome a new year with bright and splendid pattern of fire.