Solar New Year (Songkran)
China may be known for its massive celebrations of the Lunar New Year, but it still parties along with the rest of the world throughout the January 1st New Year, too. Most of the foreigners living in Shenzhen went into Hong Kong to enjoy a drunken New Year's Eve with a zillion other people, but Sen. and I chose to stay in Shenzhen and take part in the city's festivities.
Actually, we had no plans until January 30, when Judy (my Chinese colleague at the Shenzhen Education Bureau) called me up and said, "Dawn, the city is going to have a big party on New Year's Eve. when Judy (my Chinese colleague at the Shenzhen Education Bureau) called me up and said, "Dawn, the city is going to have a big party on New Year's Eve.
Because I've been to enough "Mystery Functions" in the past to know that it's always better to have someone along with you in case it turns out to be incredibly boring or just plain weird. As we got off the bus and made our way towards the park, the crowd began to thicken. Suddenly, we were in the midst of 5 million (that's my personal estimate) Shenzheners, all jostling for a good spot to stand for the next 3 hours.
Fortunately, as VIP foreign guests, we were led to chairs set up in the middle of the crowd. The chairs faced City Hall (a fabulous piece of architecture that looks like a gigantic piece of modern art) and a massive stage which had amazingly been erected during the 6 hours since I'd last been in the neighborhood.