New Year’s Eve

New Years Eve in Jakarta is a pretty big deal.  It is not an official holiday, but they set up music stages up and down the one main road in the city effectively closing the street.  It is like an amped up  version of car-free day. No one can get anywhere after 2 or 3 so everyone goes home early.  

Everywhere in carts on the street, fireworks and noisemakers are for sale.  Anyone can get fireworks for cheap, cheap, cheap. And good fireworks, too! Some nice roman candles and rockets. You can get an armful for 20 or 30 bucks.  If you’re Indonesian, probably a lot less.  

So, a nice pyrotechnic display is accessible to the average guy.  

Now,  there are a number of larger public displays around town, but you really don’t need to go looking far.

The hour before midnight the sky is lit up across town with tens of thousands or perhaps hundreds of thousands of private fireworks displays.  The air is filled with whistles, booms and cracks. It must be what a war zone sounds like. I can only imagine what it must have looked like above the trees, looking out across the city. I found a video, that give some idea, but I don’t think this does it justice. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrCqk13kwtE)

We got together with some friends for drinks and launched our own rockets adding to the cacophony.  We couldn’t really see much of the other displays, but we could hear them.  It’s my goal to see them next year.

Happy New Year!

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