Because I am out of the loop, or maybe because I don’t know the right folks, I was utterly flabbergasted (but happily so…) by the Youtube gallery of clips that went up this past week documenting the Dec 31 2011 (non) Chinese NY festival “event” in Shanghai. Where else but along the quayside? Yes, the countdown and Auld Lang Syne. Not yet the ball-dropping
but… Whoa there, wasn’t there a Chinese NY Fest MC-ed by CCTV, aimed at being pan-Chinese, omni-Sinic (cynic? Was our new China (or at leas Shanghai) now so well off p- or maybe just schizo – that it could afford a Double Festing? Well, yes: one finds also the Beijing had its First Countdown. and Hong Kong too.
But it somehow seemed to come off with eclat, benefitting of course from the fact that it was for locals a REAL festival, outdoors, as it should be, not watched (only, mainly) on TV. Whereas the Lunar version had shrunken to elaborate fireworks, same old same old.
It wasn’t the venue. That old stretch of baroque+cathedral “clocktower” wedding cake is now so completely restored as regional or even national shrine+landmark that it would have been surprising had the show turned up anywhere else. (Though I am sure as sure can be that the Authorities would have preferred the venue to be the almost deserted 2010 Expo Park that hunches up to the promenade on camera-right).