Fireworks are a Chinese Spring Festival tradition used to welcome the gods who will bring wealth, luck and happiness in the new year. But worsening air pollution has forced many cities to clamp down on the celebration.
In preparation for the festival, Beijing’s municipal government prohibited the sale of fireworks in the districts of Dongcheng and Xicheng.
Dongcheng deployed regular inspectors to crack down on vendors who attempted to sell illegally. It also mailed smog warning notices to all residential communities and assigned community manages to post them as a reminder that fireworks are prohibited on polluted days.
Residents near Xindong Jie in Dongcheng said the noise of fireworks at night was disturbing, and the waste and smell was annoying.
Xicheng district used its official WeChat account to encourage residents to report illegal sales and use of fireworks.
At legal fireworks stands in Chaoyang district, the city required vendors to display a notice about an accident in Hunan province to remind buyers to use their fireworks responsibly.
Many Beijingers took to social media to complain about the use of fireworks and express their disinterest.
Zhang Yan, a student at North China University of Technology, said young people stopped setting off fireworks on account of the pollution.
Many parents opted to purchase small fireworks their children could play with instead of larger fireworks displays.