Beijing: Anyone who wishes to buy firecrackers to celebrate the Chinese New Year, beginning on February 5, will have to present their identity document, authorities said on Monday. Stores will have devices to identify and register buyers, who will be held accountable in case of an incident, according to an official from the Beijing Emergency Management Bureau Tang Mingming.
Tang also said that Beijing has decided to reduce the number of stores selling fireworks and firecrackers from around 80 to 30, and they can only sell them from January 30 to February 9. Other Chinese cities joined in to avoid further pollution and for safety reasons.
With the ban, launched in 2018, Beijing ended 12 years of fireworks being allowed on virtually every street, causing big fires like that of 2009 in the city skyscraper Hotel Mandarin Oriental.
The Chinese often set off firecrackers and fireworks during these festivities not only for aesthetic purposes but also due to the belief that noise and fire dispel evil spirits that lurk around this time, ensuring a prosperous and fortunate year.