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Re-sale of Firecrackers After 12 Years' Ban
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Beijing has issued 2,116 stores permits to sell firecrackers so that, starting Sunday, residents can buy quality firecrackers to celebrate the upcoming Spring Festival.

To ensure public safety, people are required to buy approved fireworks at sanctioned stores and to use them responsibly, according to a circular from the municipal administration office of fireworks and firecrackers on Wednesday.

In September last year, Beijing lifted a 12-year ban on firecrackers during the traditional Spring Festival, China's Lunar New Year, in response to people's love for a tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation.

The Beijing government has organized the sale of 600,000 boxes of firecrackers valued at more than 100 million yuan (US$12.5 million) for its citizens, said Tang Yunli, an officer with Beijing Public Security Bureau.

Authorities will keep a close eye on the sale of firecrackers to ensure the city does not run out of firecrackers during the holiday season, according to Tang.

Beijingers are allowed to set off firecrackers in areas within the Fifth Ring Road on Lunar New Year's Eve and all day of the first day of the new year, and from 7 AM to zero hour everyday from the second to the 15th day of the Lunar New Year, a major Chinese festival and traditionally a time of family reunions.

The 2006 Spring Festival falls on January 29.

(Xinhua News Agency January 19, 2006)

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