Brimbank,
16
February
2018
|
00:29
Australia/Melbourne

Celebrating Lunar New Year? What You Need to Know

Summary

Lunar New year is a cause for celebration! But if you want to let off firecrackers there's some things you need to know.

Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year starts Friday 16 February! Celebrations will run until Sunday 25 February with most celebrations on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 February.

What is a Firecracker?

Fireworks, including firecrackers, are any device containing gunpowder and other combustible chemicals which cause spectacular effects and explosions when discharged/ ignited, used for display or in celebrations.

Basically anything other than a party popper that goes ‘bang’ is a firework. They're illegal to discharge without the appropriate licence and permits in place.

Why are Firecrackers Used at Lunar New Year?

Firecracker displays with/without lion dancing are considered lucky: they banish bad spirits and usher in prosperity for the year ahead ‘Year of the Dog’.

Firecrackers displays are particularly popular with the Chinese and Vietnamese business community but increasingly also commissioned at private residences.

Firecrackers - Do I Need a Permit?

Firecrackers on public land are subject to an event permit. Minimally, all require Worksafe Notification and notification to any neighbouring properties particularly private residences given possible distress to pets from noise.

Can I Be Fined for Letting Off Firecrackers/Fireworks?

On the spot fines of $400 will apply for illegal discharge of fireworks. Council may also prosecute the matter in the Magistrate's Court where heavier penalties will apply.

How Can I Legally Let Off Firecrackers?

What you need for legal discharge of fireworks (+firecrackers) are: 

  • A Licensed Pyro Technician
  • Notification to Worksafe – 1 week prior to display
  • Event Permit application
    • Public liability insurance cover
    • Risk/ job safety management plan
    • Site plan showing required safety clearances
    • Notification to neighbouring residents re time, duration, minding pets
    • Traffic management plan where vehicular/pedestrian traffic may be affected