100 Chinese cities lift 10-year firework ban
Over 100 Chinese cities have lifted a 10-year ban on fireworks for the Lunar New Year holidays, China's most important holiday.
More than 200 cities banned fireworks -- considered dangerous, noisy and polluting -- in 1995, ending the cacophony that traditionally erupted nationwide at midnight on Lunar New Year's Eve.
But 106 have lifted the ban to bring more "atmosphere" to the holiday, the state's Southern Daily said Friday.
Fireworks were widely used on New Year's Day on Wednesday and intermittently during the week-long holiday in major cities like Nanjing, Jinan, Beijing, Taiyuan and Lanzhou, the report said.
In Beijing nearly 300 people were injured and one killed in fireworks accidents alone Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, state press reports said.
Setting off fireworks is a long-standing tradition in China during the Lunar New Year holiday and based on the belief that the noise keeps evil spirits from passing over into the new year.