Speaking of Chinese New Year traditions, one of the biggies is fireworks. Yajun and Jingjing of the Wǒ Men Podcast talk about the pyrotechnic displays that pop up around this time of year being akin to “urban warfare,” and they definitely had that vibe, at least until recent years when inner-city ordinances looking to curb the madness started to kick in.
If you want to relive the old days, or get a glimpse of what they were like, check out this recently released video by Shanghai-based production studio Redscale, which compiles such urban scenes from 2011-2013:
A montage of footage filmed on the streets during Chinese New Year in Shanghai from 2011-2013 on the 1st and 5th days of the Spring Festival. There is no state funded display, all fireworks are bought by individuals and set off constantly over a week during Chinese [New] Year. Fireworks are set off to chase away bad spirits and welcome in the new year. Each night over the course of a week fireworks are set off to honor particular deities. Fireworks are set off constantly for a week throughout the day and night. The first day is to welcome of the deities of the heavens and earth, beginning at midnight. The fifth day is the day to honor the God of Wealth, and is usually the biggest night in regards to fireworks. Since 2016 due to many deaths and accidents during CNY the government restricted the sale of fireworks in the cities, thus these scenes of chaos no longer occur.