Red Lantern with Snow

It snowed yesterday. Just a light dusting, but still nice. It was strange to hear the sound of firecrackers (and loud booms of bigger stock) amidst the landscape… but, one must chase away the evil spirits during Spring Festival.

Although yesterday was a workday, many people still haven’t returned from their hometowns… which was a good thing since even this little amount of snow can play absolute havoc with the traffic.

Today is “converted” into a workday. Seven years here, and I still haven’t used to the swapping that happens in order to make holidays longer. (There is one less swap this year then last year… I’m hoping this is a sign of a downward trend.)

I went back to my D300/14 mm for the above shot. Such a great combination for doing photography in close spaces, or when you’re shooting from the hip and want to get as much of the subject in frame as possible.

Teddy Bear with Gas Mask

Starting before the Spring Festival, there has been a massive ant-fireworks campaign. I’ve seen posters regarding the different problems associated with fireworks (injuries, buildings catching on fire, the mess afterwards, etc) plastered throughout the city.

I think this is the most poignant one… a teddy bear, in a gas mask, holding a stick with firecrackers on it, and sitting behind an alarm clock with the (PM 2.5) Air Quality Index printed on the face of the clock.

There has been a substantial reduction in the fireworks used over the seven Spring Festival seasons I’ve been here. If fireworks are to be used, people are told to do so outside of the Fifth Ring Road. And, even though there are still shops (more like temporary metal sheds) setup inside of the Fifth Ring Road, there are fewer then I remember from previous years, and I’ve not seen any kind of queuing.

btw, whenever I see someone (something?) donning a gas mask, it brings to mind images from Edward Weston’s Civil Defense series, such as this print.