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The Ox Arrives with a bang

And so it begins.

Starting tonight, China's inner pyromaniac will have the run of the place, allowed by law to explode ungodly quantities of technicolor gunpowder in the sky 'round-the-clock for the next 48 hours (then from 7am to 10 pm for the next 13 days)—all to clear the way for the Year of the Ox. To give you a sense of the mayhem, here are some pictures taken a few hours ago in a residential compound in Tangshan, two hours' drive east of Beijing:

fireworks explode over Tangshan
Guangming Xili, a residential complex in Tangshan, at midnight on Chinese New Year's Eve.

Tangshan residents light strings of firecrackers Perpetrators of the above.


A recycler collects spent firework shells
A recycler uses a pedicab to collect spent firework shells.

More photos available here.