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Vol. 2, No. 3/4: 1996

Happy New Year!

by John Shelton Reed

“Examining the persistence of a pyrotechnic custom.”

Like the Chinese, southerners have long been inclined to welcome the New Year with fireworks or, lacking those, with gunfire. When the Southern Focus Poll asked, “Have you ever set off fireworks or fired a gun to celebrate New Year’s Eve?” 60 percent of native southerners acknowledged having set off fireworks and 15 percent said they had shot guns; among native nonsoutherners, the numbers were 24 percent and 6 percent, respectively.

This article appears as an abstract above, the complete article can be accessed in Project Muse
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