Saturday, January 12, 2013

New Year's Eve - Enjoy at Your Own Risk

As I've said before, the Philippines love the Christmas season. This definitely includes New Year's Eve; parties are everywhere! Fireworks are used in celebrations around the world, but not like they are here. It seems like every street corner has a vendor selling fireworks. Luckily, they're smart enough to advertise 'no smoking or testing' (I know you'd probably find an attendant smoking on site in a few countries I've visited, like Indonesia).
I'm not talking about little bottle rockets or sparklers. I'm talking about blow-your-hand-off-if-you-mess-up fireworks. These are reserved for professionals in California; you need a license and permits if you want to fire these things off. Over the past several years, the Philippines has begun cracking down on the sale of fireworks and prohibited a whole number of the more dangerous ones; this ban has included one called 'Goodbye Philippines' (I guess the name says it all). There are numerous injuries every year over the holiday season due to fireworks.
For me, this year's celebration with Kristin and her family was one of my favorite New Year's. The party at their house was great, complete with plenty of delicious food, fun games, and plenty of fireworks! Kristin's brother was in charge of the fireworks display (part of his stash shown above; my favorite was the 'Dragon's Tempest Fury'). I tried to get a few photographs of the show, but they didn't come out too well. It was really fun viewing from so close, and there were other nearby groups setting off fireworks as well. You do have to watch out for misfires and falling debris, so enjoy at your own risk!

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