Chinese have celebrated the Lantern Festival, the formal end to the lunar new year festivities, Thursday across the country with joys after the worst snow disaster in 50 years.
Bright night for remote village
At the festival of family reunion, the villagers of the Dazhangkeng Village of Jingning She Autonomous County of eastern Zhejiang Province welcomed the first bright night in three weeks as power supply to the mountainous village resumed at 6 p.m. on Thursday.
The cheerful villagers, dressed with the typical black and red festival costumes, lightened red lanterns, set off fireworks and made a campfire, dancing around with local power company technicians who came to repair the power transmission facilities.
"Thanks to their hard work and the caring of the government, we can have a bright Lantern Festival tonight," said Zhong Yinglu, a villager who just gave birth her first child four days ago.
As one of the worst-hit areas in the snow in Zhejiang, the village, with a population of more than 600, lost contact with the outside world since the late January with road closed with ice and power transmission towers collapsed.
"All of us had to depend on candles at night for lighting in the past three weeks with no power. Besides,it was so cold, and I had been worrying that my baby could catch a cold," said Zhong. "I'm relieved now because we can use the electric heater."
Wedding ceremony by power transmission tower
While millions of snow-hit area residents cheering for a bright and warm festival, a postponed wedding ceremony for Zhou Fenghua, a technician with the power supply bureau of Yangjiang City in Guangdong Province, and his bride, was held at a work site for repairing power transmission tower.
The couple, who put off their wedding ceremonies for times due to Zhou's work, vowed in front of the just-reestablished power transmission tower with the blessing of Zhou's colleagues.
Even with no white wedding dress, nor a diamond ring, nor hugs and witness of family members, the bride Deng Ting, said she was the happiest woman in the world today.
The high school teacher traveled hundreds of kilometers from Yangjiang to the work site located on a hill in a village of Lianzhou City.
"I'm so glad to hold our wedding ceremony on the Lantern Festival, also known as the Chinese Valentine's Day," said Deng. "But what makes the ceremony so special and meaningful is the venue, as I was told with the power transmission power behind is responsible for the power supply to more than 500,000 people in Lianzhou, and I'm proud of my husband."
Safety first on fireworks last show
While in the country's capital, Beijingers were enjoying their last hilarious fireworks show during the lunar new year days, lighting up the city's sky with colorful fireworks and scaring the evils and bad luck away with unrestful huge sound of firecracker.
Beijing lifted a 12-year ban on fireworks in 2005, allowing residents to set off fireworks in designated areas during the Lunar New Year and other important festivals.
However, Setting off of fireworks in areas within the fifth ring road is allowed only between Feb. 6, through to Thursday's, the day for Lantern Festival.
He Zhidong, a restaurant owner led his eight-year-old son to set off fireworks at a residential complex in the Beijing's Fengtai District, where warning slogans like "to pay attention to safety while setting off fireworks" were hung around.
"It is a tradition of thousands of years to set off firecrackers during the Spring Festival for good luck. But this year, I had asked for more. Not only for my family members here in Beijing, but also for those who have been suffering from the snow disaster and the cold weather in the south," said He.
To ensure the safety in Beijing, the city's government has strengthen the administration of fireworks sales and production, stipulating that all manufacturers and vendors must be licensed or face fines and police also increased patrols in urban areas to enforce the ban.
(Xinhua News Agency February 22, 2008)