Lunar New Year in Beijing is going to look a little bit different this year. The capital officially banned fireworks anywhere within the Fifth Ring Road earlier this month, just ahead of Lunar New Year, Xinhua reports.
The law previously allowed fireworks to be set off within the Fifth Ring Road during the Lunar New Year and Lantern festivals. However, local authorities have now decided to implement a year-round ban on fireworks in an effort to curb pollution and reduce the number of fireworks related injuries.
Beijingers will be able to set off fireworks in "restricted areas" outside of the Fifth Ring Road on the eve and the first day of the Lunar New Year. Fireworks can also be set off in these areas from 7am to midnight from the second until the fifteenth day of the holiday.
During Lunar New Year – China’s biggest holiday – it’s common for Beijing’s pollution levels to skyrocket because of the sheer amount of fireworks that are set off. During the past five years, there have been two to four heavy pollution days during the seven-day festival.
However, the potential ban aims to do more than curb the city’s smog problem. Since 2015, dozens of people were either injured or killed due to fireworks related injuries during Lunar New Year in Beijing.
According to a recent public opinion poll, 83 percent of participants support the ban. A similar ban has already been implemented in Shanghai.