China: Around The Nation

Chinese man starts New Year with bang – and fine as he breaks city law by lighting 20,000 firecrackers

Ban on sale or use of firecrackers inside Jiaxing’s Third Ring Road, in Zhejiang province, came into force on New Year’s Day

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 January, 2017, 1:17pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 January, 2017, 1:25pm

A 32-year-old Chinese businessman was fined by police after setting off 20,000 firecrackers outside his new home on New Year’s Day – the first day a ban on their use came into effect in his home city, mainland media reported.

The man, surnamed Li, lit the firecrackers at about 9am to celebrate his move into his new 8 million yuan (HK$8.9 million) home, which also contained 1.5 million yuan worth of furnishings, in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, the news portal reported.

A neighbour reported Li to police, who arrived at the property just as members of Li’s family were sweeping up the remains of the firecrackers.

Police fined Li 500 yuan – the maximum amount for individuals who break the new law – while his neighbour received a 500 yuan reward.

The ban in that part of the city was introduced after a number of people suffered injuries caused by firecrackers being set off during past celebrations in the city.

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The law makes it an offence for anyone to sell or set off firecrackers and fireworks within Jiaxing’s Third Ring Road. Places located outside the city’s Third Ring Road, such as the airport, hospitals and schools are also banned from lighting firecrackers, which are designed to make a loud bang and have been traditionally used in China to celebrate holidays and festivals.

Fines for individuals who break the law range from 100 yuan to 500 yuan, and from 2,000 yuan to 30,000 yuan for groups, the report said.

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Police said they would carry out regular checks to ensure the law was being obeyed, with more frequent inspections during festive occasions, such as the Lunar New Year and the Lantern Festival – the final day of the lunar new year holiday.