Our Lives Versus Firecrackers
Bong! Bong! Bong! These are the typical sounds one would hear passing by a Chinatown around February of every year. Indeed, these are the sounds of firecrackers, which are distinctive features Chinese people use to welcome a new beginning on Chinese New Year. However, can anyone imagine how many people have died or have been injured by these explosive features? According to a report, a firecracker storage area in China caught fire which caused the death of forty-seven people. An event of happy celebration unfortunately ended up being a tragically one. This leaves a question that needs to be answered: Should people’s lives be sacrificed in order to keep the tradition of New Year celebration?
Being a Chinese, I truely understand that Chinese New Year is the most important and most celebrated holiday for Chinese. In addition, firecracker displays are always the first event to be launched off as the New Year arrives. According to older generations, firecrackers are considered not only a sign of getting rid of the old and welcoming the new, but are also believed to be able to dispel the evils. As a result, Chinese families deem the activity as an important one. However, it seems like this tradition is kept at the expense
of innocent people’s lives.
In fact, firecrackers can lead to significant casualties if people don’t use it appropriately. In recent years, firecrackers are bannedb in some states in America. There are a total of 11 states that ban all types of firecrackers while some states only allow few types of firecrackers. Most leniently states such as Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida still allow all types of firecrackers ( Essoyan; Los Angeles Time ). The administration of some states has refused to allow the setting off of firecrackers during Chinese New Year celebration because these state governments believe that these explosives are too dangerous. Moreover, firecrackers have also been banned in China, after the firecracker storage area explosion incident.
In addition to its explosiveness, firecrackers are hazardous to people’s health and lives. First of all, according to sources, firecrackers can trigger pneumonia or bronchitis caused by inhaling the smoke generated by firecrackers ( Kammerer; South China Morning Post ). Furthermore, many children do not realize the danger firecrackers can cause and are often burned and injured by these substances. Even adults can be physically harmed by firecrackers if they do not pay enough attention during the usage. Moreover, damages such as explosions and fires caused by firecrackers can be awesome.
Although firecracker displays have become a tradition and serve as an event that has meaningful interpretations, the potential danger that comes along cannot be ignored. Many unfortunate disasters such as fires and explosions caused by firecrackers occur at the same
time. At some point, the negatives must be weighed in to determine the usage during the celebration. Other activities and events such as “dragon and lion parades,” family dinner and celebrations, and majong games all exist to welcome the arrival of the new year.
To be safe and to really enjoy the celebration without any concerns, other activities can be emphasized over the firecracker displays. Instead of having many of these displays by each individual household, a bigger and safer display can be held at a open air location where the probability of disaster can be minimized. This way, the tradition can remain to serve its purpose while mitigating the negative effects.