Fireworks banned at Chinese New Year

Last updated at 10:47
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Chinese New Year took place with lots of traditional celebrations... but lots of places in China had no fireworks

Imagine celebrating New Year with no fireworks!

Well, in some cities in China there were no rockets, no roman candles and no Catherine wheels, as no fireworks were allowed for Chinese New Year.

Millions of people are celebrating the start of the Year of the Dog, which began on Friday, 16th February 2018.

But in China's capital city, Beijing, along with more than 400 other towns and cities, people celebrated it more quietly than normal.

The ban on fireworks is because of worries about high levels of pollution in the country and fears that the chemicals used in fireworks are part of the problem.

This rule is even more surprising as fireworks are usually a traditional part of Chinese New Year.

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This was the fireworks show in New York, USA, to celebrate Chinese News Year, but in many Chinese cities fireworks were banned

Fireworks were first invented in China - the story goes that thousands of years ago, a group of Chinese scientists accidently mixed together chemicals to make an early form of gunpowder.

This was stuffed into old bamboo stalks and thrown into a fire to make a loud bang. These were thought to be the first fireworks. and many old myths and legends claim that the noise and lights scare off evil spirits.

How bad is pollution in China?
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Children who go to school in China sometimes have to where masks to help them filter the air they breathe

Coal is used to power some Chinese factories and as it's winter now, more people are also using it to heat their homes.

This means that more coal is burnt and this, along with other factors like traffic fumes, can increase the pollution levels in the air.

Sometimes this leads to large amounts of smokey fog, or smog, making it really difficult to see and hard for people to safely breathe.

Lots of children wear anti-pollution facemasks on their journey to school and sometimes even have to stay indoors.

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Pupils in Beijing talk about the thick smog

Pollution can be measured in different ways, but the World Health Organisation (WHO) use a scientific calculation that measures the number of small particles in the air which can be breathed in.

They recommend that an average reading of 10 micrograms per cubic metre is a safe amount over a year, but shouldn't go over 25 micrograms per cubic metre in one day.

Levels in China's capital city Beijing in recent years have regularly been higher than 400 micrograms, and around 600 in the city of Shijiazhuang.

In 2014 China's government said that they were going to start working to reduce the amount of pollution in the air. Since then they say they've been trying to close down some coal-burning factories, and have limited the amount of traffic on roads at certain times.