Burning fireworks was once the most typical custom on the Chinese Spring Festival, the most important festival for the Chinese people and is when all family members get together, just like Christmas in the West.
People thought the spluttering sound could help drive away evil spirits. However, such an activity was completely or partially forbidden in big cities once the government took security, noise and pollution factors into consideration. As a replacement, some buy tapes with firecracker sounds to listen to, some break little balloons to get the sound too, while others buy firecracker handicrafts to hang in the living room.
One month before the Chinese New Year festival, Beijing decided to increase the rewards (from 5.000 to 20.000 years or 1500 US$) for those who denunciate the unauthorised producers of fireworks.
75% of the fireworks sold around the world are manufactured in China.