I used to like fireworks. I connected them with celebration, joy, romance, fun, beauty, spontaneity. 4th of July. New Year’s. Happy memories.
So I thought fireworks in China would be like visiting the homeland of those things. But here, fireworks are tied to religious or ancestry rituals. It’s somber. You shouldn’t take photos or show any personal enjoyment from it. No one pauses to watch, it’s just about lighting them and moving on.
Also because there are no standards for safe use, they are loud and disturbing. I’ve read that veterans of war often cannot stand hearing fireworks. I haven’t even been in war, but I feel like I understand a bit of the feeling. Fireworks just inherently sound and feel violent.Hearing firecrackers at close proximity makes everyone crouch in fear or run away. Hearing a whole city rumbling with exploding sulphur totally numbs your senses after a while. It’s like hearing the worst thunderstorm ever.
Lastly, today there were fireworks near me being lit and a fragment flew into my face just an inch from my eye. Now I’m aware that my own health is at risk.
Maybe I will like them again in the future after I can experience them in a country of people who use them in a happy and safe manner. Until then, I’ve had enough and little interest.