If you happen to be in China for a visit during the first lunar month (usually late January to mid February), don't be surprised by a constant barrage of 'Bangs' and 'Booms'! In China, setting off fireworks is banned within city limits, but there is one exception.
For two weeks a year, the ban is lifted and the whole country comes out to celebrate, from Chinese New Years Eve (30th of the twelfth lunar month) until the Lantern Festival (15th of first lunar month). Fireworks are a tradition in China, and Chinese people believe that fireworks can help them to send off the past and bring good luck in the new year. And so, starting at midnight on Chinese New Year, the sky is lit up with fireworks and it's hard to hear anything besides of the pounding rhythm of happy celebration.
The two weeks of apparent wreckless abandon seem to be the happiest for Chinese men and boys, young and old. A variety of fireworks are available in street corner stalls and shops, and they swoop them up! Most Chinese girls, on the other hand, seem more content to enjoy the display of colorful fireworks from afar. The spectacle is truly a must-see and sure to be an extra benefit for you, should your winter travels to China overlap with this festive occasion!
Though it's always illegal to carry guns in China, at least for those few days each year, you can arm yourself with fireworks and roam the rowdy streets at night, playing the Dark Knight. Just don't forget to close your windows after you hang up your cape for the evening, otherwise the steady drum of the fireworks will probably interrupt your superhero dreams!