It is a tradition in China to welcome the New Year with fireworks. At midnight, the sky is lit up by fireworks, which symbolize the sending out of the old and the ushering in the new.
Firecrackers are set off as soon as the New Year arrives. You can hear or see firecrackers everywhere and this usually lasts for a few hours. Some people continue to play firecrackers occasionally throughout the first half of the first month. Traditionally fireworks are the sign of getting rid of the old and welcoming the new. However, fireworks are now banned in China, so this tradition is history.
Chinese fireworks are special and they are produced on a commercial scale. Chinese firecrackers are exported to all parts of the world. The firecrackers called stars are contained in nearly every firework and burn in the sky to produce the effect. These stars are rolled in special drums or pressed into small cylinders. Stars in a shell are usually considered the most impressive firework in a display. They produce big bursts of color in the sky. Shells are made in 2 halves and then closed together. A finished 300mm shell will fire about 300 meters into the sky and burst before burning for more than 20 seconds.
China’s fireworks industry suffers hundreds of deaths every year in fires and explosions. The industry employs thousands of people, often in poor rural areas, who do much of the work by hand. The death rate keeps soaring despite repeated government promises to tighten safety. The fatality rate usually surges as producers rush to fill orders for the Lunar New Year, which comes in January. Chinese celebrate by setting off billions of firecrackers.
The government has said that it would close fireworks factories that lack modern equipment and ban production in homes, but it is not clear how effectively those restrictions can be enforced.