China greeted the arrival Monday of the Year of the Ox with fireworks and celebrations, bidding farewell to a tumultuous 2008 marked by a massive earthquake, the Olympics, and a global economic crisis.
Colorful pyrotechnic displays lit up the midnight sky over Beijing, as firecrackers exploded deep into the early morning hours in the capital.
Officials reported that 46 people were injured from fireworks-related accidents, a 48 percent drop from the previous year, the official Xinhua News Agency said Monday. A fleet of 70 ambulances roamed the city overnight on the lookout for emergencies, it said.
Update: The Houston Chronicle lists “Five Facts About the Year of the Ox,” while the Western wire services seems to have reached consensus on what the coming year will look like. AP reports, “China’s Year of the Ox not so bullish,” while AFP’s headline reads, “Mood not bullish as China greets Year of the Ox.”
Meanwhile, those of us not in Beijing can get a sense of just how deafening the fireworks were there on Sunday night in this video, from the Opposite End of China blog: