Today, Saturday the 13th, is the first day of the Chinese new year. This year is year of the Tiger, and although estimates put the total number of tigers in China below 50, it’s still a festive affair.

As usual, Chengdu has more or less closed up shop for the week. Restaurants are closed, streets are empty, and taxi’s are difficult to find. As I look out the window in my living room onto the five lane street below, it’s occupied by only the occasionally by lone pedestrians or bicyclists. This week I’ll be eating a lot more Western food than ordinarily, merely because all the local restaurants that I normally visit closed due to the staff returning to their hometowns for the holiday.

I’m thinking about going to Tianfu Square, the citys center, to photograph some of the fireworks. If I don’t do that, I’ll sit on my roof next to a small fire and watch the fireworks shot off all around the city tonight. As of yesterday you can buy your own on the street from vendors who’ve set up red tents all around the city. Although fireworks are technically Chinese, they strike me as especially fun since I grew up with them due to 4th of July culture.

This winter has been unusually tame – I haven’t seen a single flake of snow and I haven’t resorted to wearing my heaviest jacket out but once. The sun has been shining more, too!

Today I’m working on my portfolio. When it’s finished I’ll post it up.