January 4, 2012

Y is for Year

We are a few days into 2012 and this post is a brief peek into how Filipinos celebrate the arrival of the New Year. Two words might suffice, really: deafening and dangerous.

Firecrackers, fireworks and other noisemakers are key to bringing the new year in with a bang. For days before the midnight transition from old year to new and for a day or two after still, the eardrum bursting sounds of snap, crackle, pop, whizz, fizz and BANG! permeate the air, along with lung-busting (and airplane diverting) smoke.

A traditional belief I suspect was adopted from the Chinese holds that the cacophony drives off evil spirits, thereby ensuring a bountiful and blessed new year.

Despite legally banning the larger explosives and annual attempts to forewarn the public of the dangers of fireworks through information campaigns, each year many hundreds of casualties and a few deaths are reported throughout the nation. Many would like to see a total ban on all fireworks, but there is still a massive resistance again such a move.

My photos were taken last week in Dumaguete, where vendors in makeshift stalls along the street saw a brisk business for their fiery wares.





Dumaguete, 2011

I am linking to ABC Wednesday where the letter is Y and to Signs, Signs.

39 comments:

Tina´s PicStory said...

i also saw a tv doku about the dangerous even in the production. but your pics are wonderful :)

Roger Owen Green said...

I have just one word: YIKES! dangerous!

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Traveling Hawk said...

How colorful they are! Firecrackers are banned for use in Romania, except the night of 31 December, but accidents still happen.

photowannabe said...

The picture of the boy carrying the fireworks is amazing. I can only imagine how noisy it must be when all of the bottle rockets etc. go off.
Wonderful vivid color photos too.

jabblog said...

Great, colourful photos - dangerous to carry them, though - they're so unstable.

FrankandMary said...

I usually dislike tats, but they look sort of right on him.~Mary

jennyfreckles said...

The size of that No Smoking sign speaks louder than words! The NYr fireworks in London must have cost millions - but there seemed to be a lot fewer explosions locally than in previous years. It wasn't something we Brits tended to do at all until the Millennium, when the fashion started.

Leslie: said...

I agree with Roger with "Yikes!" We had horns and my friend brought her REAL cow bell - I think we may have given my neighbours heart attacks! Happy New Year!

Leslie
abcw team

Anonymous said...

Bright and cheerful, but oh my gosh! Too much noise too dangerous (reminds me though of a restaurant I know that has a sign "if the music's too loud, you're too old." I think this is probably true, both about the restaurant and all those fireworks etc.) Happy (quiet and peaceful)New Year!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Ha Ha -- that was me above. I'm too old to post a comment too I guess ;>)

Dorian Susan said...

Fireworks are fun, but dangerous. Love that 3rd diptych. What great patterns. These folks seem pretty relaxed about the whole thing. I think maybe chasing the evil out with loud noises may be right on. What are we Americans doing lighting them off on July 4th?

Kathy said...

Nice street shots, one of my favorite types of photography. Happy New Year!

Vin said...

LMAO! I LOVE ALL THOSE PICTURES!!! i showed them to my mom and she had a smile from ear to ear. she told me that's the only way to welcome a new year :)

Andrea said...

good morning, these are very colorful photos. It's good you were not in Manila for the New Year, pollution is very high. When i returned on 2Jan the horizon is still dark, i see it every morning from my high place. This is really from the Chinese and Filipinos' fondness for imitation, coupled with hope for luck which the Chinese positively show with their success in business, produced a new identity to "New Year's celebration", which is now alarming! I am for total ban.

VioletSky said...

Sometimes, I think we are far too cautious here with too many safety controls. Then, sometimes, I think it is a good idea. Great street shots of the colourful firecrackers and people.

Spare Parts and Pics said...

These are incredible street shots! And thanks so much for your kind comments on my blog, and helping me with the correct pronunciation of bokeh! What a great use of You Tube.

Lea's Menagerie said...

Hi and Happy New Year!
Wonderful, colorful photos!
Thanks for your visit and comment on my blog post - Macro Monday An old barn, a rusty nail... That's a very interesting story with a good lesson to learn.
Hope 2012 is a wonderful year for you!
Lea
Mississippi, USA

chubskulit said...

Yup, every year, it's a dangerous holiday to celebrate there. Lots of fingers being cut off or burned.

Youth is my Y, have a great year of the dragon.

Gattina said...

What colorful photos and everybody looks so cheerful !

Oakland Daily Photo said...

Even unlighted, these fireworks manage to sizzle with color.

Shooting Parrots said...

Dangerous as those fireworks are, the make very good subjects for the camera!

Andy said...

Another round of great photos Francisca. Judging by the number of casualties and deaths the fireworks are not working to drive off the evil spirits.

Ebie said...

Nice to see my hometown again! I know the pops and noise are deafening and dangerous too! Business is brisk this time of the year!

Lesley said...

Oh my word - so many firecrackers!! They look dangerous before they are even lit! I like that they have that HUGE [no] smoking sign as a reminder!
Thank you for participating in signs, signs.

Pat said...

Very colorful and interesting photos!

Happy New Year!

ewok1993 said...

I remember my NYE in the Philippines. I would go into my room after the midnight mass and go under the covers. Am really not into all the noise, the firecrackers and what have you. I was a killjoy wasn't I?

Happy new year.

Halcyon said...

Love all the colorful items! Looks like a wonderful market. :)

RedPat said...

What a show it must be! Love the no smoking sign!

Carola said...

The non smoking sign is placed well, people should know. Colorful shots and I like your people photography.
That would be to much noise for me. I've never spend any coin for fireworks.

Inger-M said...

I live in a country where most kinds of fireworks are banned. Only little ones that go "phut" are allowed. Still, many people get hurt, especially with eye injuries.
But nice colorful signs!

NixBlog said...

Great photos. It is a pity that there are still many injuries or deaths due to improperly made and used fireworks...

Ann said...

bang bang bang, a lot of money goes up in smoke.

EG Wow said...

Fireworks are legal here in Ontario too. :)

Dianne said...

fireworks are illegal in my state yet they magically show up every 4th of July

I love your photos, it's so nice to visit other places thru the blogs
the young man with the volcanic fireworks has a beautiful smile

Vicki/Jake said...

Hmmm, at least they banned smoking:) You be careful...

Dinah said...

I don't think we will see the day when fireworks will be banned for good because this has been part of the New YEar celebration for too long. I told my husband to just give me the money for firecrackers to buy more food, he he.
Oh well, just practice safety!

Safety Begins with Me!

Genie said...

This shots are filled with vivid color....that fellow looks so happy selling his goodies. Looks like tattoos are popular there as well as here. Hope you are well and getting off to a good start in the new year. genie

Luna Miranda said...

i absolutely love your photos! marvelous colors, you certainly captured the spirit.:p
i still have a cough & cold from the fumes of New Year.
you spent the New Year in Dumaguete? i have relatives there.:p

Pat Tillett said...

Really great photos! I can't image the chaos and fires if fireworks like that were to be allowed where I live!