Monday, January 26, 2009

New Year's Day Firecracker Ceremony

I ventured to Chinatown today to experience the Firecracker Festival. To ward off evil spirits, this festival exploded 600,000 firecrackers (and banged on several drums). The noise was so loud it was CRAZY. Almost everyone was covering their ears. It was more about sound than lights. Kids threw poppers and pulled these crackers that released all this bright, curled paper—kinda like confetti but lots bigger (like curled ribbon).

There was a dragon dance, and then—this was the coolest thing—there were a couple teams of two dragons each and they ran through the streets of Chinatown, with these bands of drummers behind them. They'd go to banks, restaurants, and shops and do this wild dance outside, until someone from inside came out and gave them something.

Although there was plenty of amazing food everywhere, Chinatown borders Little Italy, so I couldn't resist ducking a street over for some manicotte—perfect, hearty stuff for such a cold day. Oh, and some pignoli cookies!

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