Filipinos customarily greet the New Year with a barrage of fireworks. Many families lay in a supply of things that go bang or explode in a shower of colorful sparks. Even humble households will try to buy a box of inexpensive sparklers or pop rocks for the children to enjoy.
Lighting fireworks on New Year’s Eve is believed to frighten off ghosts and other evil spirits, and welcome the New Year in with joyous celebration. A practice borrowed from Chinese culture, it has led to the growth of a fireworks industry concentrated in the Bulacan area of Luzon.
My children, my sister, and I spent New Year’s Eve at my aunt’s home in Quezon City. There, as everywhere in the country, super lolos, trianggulos, sinturon ni Hudas, fountains, showers, Roman candles, Catherine wheels, watusi, pop rocks, sparklers, luces, and other fireworks were lit and consumed in a burst of flame, to the applause and glee of spectators.
It was raining, which wasn’t good for the fireworks set out in the street. Wet gunpowder doesn’t go off. It was the first time that it rained on New Year’s Eve in many years, as far as I can recollect. Many, though, were actually relieved; the drizzle reduced the risk of fire.
Happy new year! May 2009 bring us all the good things that we need and wish for!
Image above P’shopped from this original.