Every year about this time we start getting questioned by Western fresh-off-the-boaters: Where do we go for New Year's Eve fireworks in Beijing?

And for 13 years we've been forced to go into a lengthy diatribe about how New Year's Eve is not traditionally celebrated in China with a barrage of fireworks at midnight (and this inevitably descends into a discussion about how fireworks are usually something reserved for individual use on Chinese New Year).

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And while the city started emulating the western New Year countdown celebrations in 2011 at the Temple of Heaven, it hasn't exactly caught fire as a must-see activity.

Well this year, our 14th as an entity in the 'Jing, we think the city's now got it: this year Beijing will have a major fireworks display and a countdown to midnight at the Olympic Park, this time tied into the city's promotion of itself as the ideal host for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

And if you know anything about how Beijing throws an Olympic party, you know they like to do it with a little flash.

The four-hour festivities begin at 8pm December 31 at the Bird's Nest but we expect that to be definitely worth missing, filled with special appearances from singing celebrities, pontificating officials, and waving athletes (on the bill so far are such luminaries as pianist Lang Lang and infamous '08 Games child lip-syncher Lin Miaoke).

The real action begins at 11.30pm when the official countdown begins, and at midnight you can expect an eruption of fireworks that will be impressive enough to remind you of the ones back home.

If you want to take the subway to the park, Line 8 will get you there remember the last train leaves Nanluoguxiang at 11pm and gets you to the Olympic park at 11.15pm.

There will also be smaller celebrations in Yanqing and Zhangjiakou, the two areas north of Beijing that will hold some of the 2022 events should Beijing win the bid.

Image: NY Daily News

Visit the original source and full text: the Beijinger Blog