Lunar New Year 2009 in Washington D.C.

It was a balmy, clear day — perfect for being out and about for a parade. We came to see the 4-story tall string of firecrackers that was going to close the Lunar New Year festivities in Washington D.C.’s Chinatown last Sunday…

It promised to be quite a sight, not to mention lots of noise — noise that is supposed to drive away Bad Spirits and Bad Luck.

But first there was that parade…

With dragons…

And dancing lions…

And special performances for local and visiting dignitaries…

Then the crowd turned from the stage back toward the tower of firecrackers and waited for the auspicious hour of 3:45pm for the lighting of the firecrackers…

And waited. And waited. Until the inauspicious hour of 4:20pm when the dignitaries suddenly turned to leave. No firecrackers, no announcement.

A passing police officer said that the fire department would not allow the lighting ceremony because there was a smell of natural gas in the vicinity and they didn’t want to risk the public’s safety.

Their caution is understandable. Wise, even. But now what are we supposed to do with all those Bad Spirits and Bad Luck??