Photograph donated anonymously.

Bomb Day is celebrated annually in Marysville during the weekend closest to the second day of the second month of the Lunar Chinese New Year, in conjunction with the Bok Kai Festival and Parade. The Bok Kai parade is typically held on a Saturday, and Bomb Day is typically celebrated the following day. The main event of Bomb Day is known as "The Firing of the Bombs," and consists of exploding 100 "bombs" - special firecrackers that are handmade in Marysville specifically for Bomb Day, using bamboo, red paper, and gold leaf. The bombs have rope rings attached to them with wire. The watching crowd scrambles to retrieve these rings, which are said to bring good fortune throughout the following lunar year. The rings can also be sold to others who want good fortune. The rings are numbered, and in accordance with Chinese tradition, the #4 ring is said to be the luckiest.


W. T. Ellis, Jr., for whom Ellis Lake was named, wrote in his autobiography Memories: My Seventy-Two Years in the Romantic County of Yuba, California about the Chinese immigrants' celebration of Bomb Day in Marysville in the 19th century:

New Year's day celebration was always followed in the next month with the Chinese "Bomb Day," when bombs were shot up in the air with numbered tags attached and the one who caught the wicker ring with the attached tag when it descended to the ground was entitled to call for and retain for one year a prize screen which was expected to bring good luck to the holder for that year. Great crowds would congregate to witness the scramble for possession of the wicker rings, when they were shot up in the air, particularly for the big prize one, and in those days I have witnessed over 150 Chinese pull and haul and tug for over an hour, trying to get possession of this prize, their clothes torn to ribbons, their hands and arms scratched and bloody, until finally some one of them would be successful, with the aid of his friends, to escape and run as fast as he could to the Joss House where the prize would be awarded him. Then would follow processions and banquets where large roasted hogs, "cooked to a turn," would be the piece de resistance.


Bomb Day information from the Bok Kai Festival website