No Firecrackers For The Year Of The Horse

From World Journal

February 12, 2002

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced on February 11 that firecrackers, an important Chinese tradition used to celebrate New Year, would not be allowed this year. John Liu, the first Chinese city council member from Flushing, had been lobbying for the rebirth of this tradition.

Bloomberg said that after September 11, New Yorkers are still trying to recover from the trauma; therefore, it was not appropriate to allow the loud noises to be spread in the city. People in the Chinese community were disappointed by this decision, but understand the mayor's concern.

They hope that firecrackers can be used next year. During former Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s era, it was illegal for safety concerns. However, John Liu became a spokesperson for the Chinese community in New York City.

Liu said that after September 11, business in Chinatown had been suffering and firecrackers would be a symbol of good luck for the Chinese New Year. The mayor added that it had been illegal to use firecrackers for years and the ban prevents some injuries.

Bloomberg said that it was the right decision. However, the mayor also said that, with permits, firecrackers might be allowed in certain areas in the next Lunar New Year.

Translated from Chinese by Pei Chi Lin

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