Tuesday, 5 January 2010

New Year with a bang

In time for the New Year's celebrations the law concerning firecrackers and fireworks here in Finland was revised, well actually slimmed down.

Earlier you could bang your works and crackers (and excuse me if anyone got the wrong idea, this was absolutely not intentional) from 6 PM all night long until 6 AM the next morning. This New Year's Eve it was only from 6 PM until 2 in the morning. Selling fireworks is also from now on prohibited for under 18 years old and minors are not to handle them and wearing safety goggles are compulsory to wear when lighting the works.

With these new rules in work I was very much interested in seeing how the festivities actually would take place in practice.

On the day itself I woke up at 2.30 AM in the morning of two loud bangs in the yard, so the hours allowed did not work out as they should have. In the evening at midnight the neighbours muted their loud festive music in turn moving out onto their balconies to advise their minors lighting the fireworks. None I saw wearing any goggles, not even the adults safely on their balconies risking the limbs and eyes of their offspring.

The lights in the yard went out for several hours as someone hit the light switch with a firecracker or something, and the pub across the street had their own fireworks worth to see. Men standing on their knees in the freezing snow without any goggles, they shot them off. Some up into the night sky but most of them along on the street, that is in the end once they got them lit, which seemed oddly hard a thing to achieve.

Anyway, about 4 AM on New Years Day morning the glass of the front door downstairs was kicked in as someone who apparently did not live in this building wanted to get in, into the wrong house, as they had lost their keys. At least that is what the shouting downstairs was about.

The result of the festivities is full of strange stories, an acquintance of a friend of mine celebrated in high heel shoes, out in severe sub zero temperatures a night out in town and was hospitalized with frozen toes with an amputation of several toes as a result...the offspring of a friend spending the night in jail..and a couple of friends found themselves in another city their were supposed to be spending the night in.

So ladies, beware of your vanity, use sensible shoes when it is freezing out! And carry indoors shoes with you instead of risking your feet and toes.