February 14 marked the first day of the Chinese New Year and the beginning of the Year of the Tiger. What this has meant for us has been the opportunity to see the city all decked out in red lanterns and tiger depictions (this picture is a replica of a traditional paper cut, from a poster outside the Science and Technology Museum.) It has also meant more than a week straight of fireworks every night. Tradition has it that fireworks help to deter evil spirits and to bring in a prosperous new year. Whether or not that remains the reason people use them, they are definitely still popular. Even as I write this, it sounds a little like a war zone outside my window.