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Early memories rekindled along the riverbank on a wet and chilly night

Updated: Jan 30, 2024 By Zou Shuo China Daily Print
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I remember first watching fireworks when I was still a primary school student, but since then have often asked myself whether it is childish for adults to set light to these combustible devices.

On a rainy and extremely cold night recently, a friend and I took some fireworks to a bank of the Xiangjiang River in Changsha, Hunan province. The main reason for our mission was for me to write this reporter's log.

Like many cities in China, the authorities in Changsha ban fireworks in urban areas, so to avoid attracting attention, we needed to find a place without many people.

The experience that night changed my view on adults playing with fireworks. My boyhood fascination with them was rekindled, and I was full of laughter on what proved to be a joyous occasion.

As we lit the fireworks and they exploded over our heads, it was as if a love poem had taken to the sky.

After setting light to one particular type of firework, I saw it rise into the air, followed by loud bangs and patterns of different colors as it exploded. The adrenaline kicked in, as this was an exhilarating but dangerous experience.

We needed to handle some of the fireworks with extreme care. After being lit, they took to the air almost immediately, emitting loud shrieking sounds and short bursts of beautiful colors against the black sky.

A high degree of craftsmanship is required for each firework to produce the right sound, sparks and dazzling displays of color.

Those we set off that night were not much different from the fireworks I experienced during my childhood. However, back then, my father lit them, but now I had to perform this task myself, thus heightening the excitement.

For Chinese, fireworks are used to mark important occasions, such as key birthdays, starting college, buying an apartment, getting married, having children, and even for funerals.

Without fireworks and firecrackers, such important milestones are not complete for people to express their best wishes and the desire to lead better lives.

Shortly after my friend and I let off our fireworks, it began to snow in Changsha, a somewhat rare event for the city.

Amid the snow and the dark night, the colorful fireworks we lit that evening added spice to our lives and brought us fun and joy.

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