There once lived a monster called Nian . He slept all year round, except on Lunar New Year's Eve when he woke up and killed people. One day, an old woman decided to fight the creature. Just as he was about to charge into her house, Nian saw her, dressed in red with a burning bamboo stick in her hand. He fled in panic at the sight of this. Villagers realised that the beast feared fire, explosive sounds and the colour red. From then on, they set off firecrackers and put on bright red clothes to celebrate the new year. In the 1967 riots in Hong Kong, people made bombs from the explosives in firecrackers, so the government banned firecrackers. The annual public fireworks display has become a substitute for private fireworks celebrations.