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China Daily Website  

Beijing reduces fireworks sales during Spring Festival

Updated: 2014-12-25 10:40

BEIJING - Beijing is to reduce the sale of fireworks during the coming Spring Festival by shortening the sale period and cutting the number of retail outlets, said local authorities on Wednesday.

The move should reduce pollutants and improve air quality, said Yu Lianwei, vice chief officer with the security administration brigade of the Beijing municipal bureau of public security.

Sales of fireworks will be allowed from the 25th day of the last lunar month to the fifth day of the lunar new year, or Feb 13 to 23 next year. The period of sale has been shortened from 20 days to 11.

Yu said that the number of retail outlets is also to decrease. In 2014, fireworks were sold in 1,174 booths across Beijing. Approval for booths is to finish by Jan 29.

Chinese people traditionally light firecrackers and fireworks to celebrate the Spring Festival, in the belief that the noise will scare away evil spirits and bad luck. However, with regular smog the contribution of fireworks to air pollution has drawn the attention of authorities.

Last year, heavy smog covered Beijing during the Lantern Festival, which marks the end of China's lunar new year celebrations. It brought the air quality index (AQI) to 500, Level 6, or severely polluted.

Beijing police have cracked down on illegal fireworks since October, confiscating 4,270 boxes of firecrackers and fireworks so far.

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