The snake is coming…

There’s a certain feeling that hits Beijing as Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) approaches. The epic city starts to empty, the skies clear as the factories shut down and excited children queue up with their parents for a fireworks stash.


These generic flags are pulled out for every festival by our building management.


‘No fireworks’ signs appear outside building sites, embassy zones, schools and the like. Whether or not they’re followed is completely another matter.

IMG_2421The sky is actually blue!! Until the fireworks start… (the population has been asked to exercise restraint over the lighting of fireworks following the most recent pollution problems, but I think that’s unlikely to make much of a difference).


Shops fly the Chinese flag. All small shops are shut though, as their owners have returned home for the holiday.



These tents appear all over the city, adorned with ‘no smoking’, ‘no lighting fireworks’ and ‘no re-fueling’ signs.

IMG_2428This building got a lot of red.

It’s only a few hours before the fun/chaos begins. Let’s see how our first fireworks fiasco with a baby is…