45 Beijing roads to close late Wednesday for Spring Festival fireworks

10:40, February 01, 2011      

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Beijing's municipal government will close 45 Beijing streets for half an hour late Wednesday to allow the city's citizens to set off fireworks to mark the arrival of the new Chinese Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival.

The 45 streets will be closed to automobile traffic from 11:45 p.m., the government's Fireworks Management Office said in a circular on its website Monday.

Setting off fireworks is a traditional way for Chinese to welcome the start of the new lunar year and spring.

The fireworks are believed to scare away monsters and evil spirits.

Sanitation workers cleaned up about 80 tonnes of fireworks debris left on Beijing streets after last year's Spring Festival.

Ahead of the festival, municipal authorities mobilized sanitation workers to remove flammable items, such as dry tree branches and garbage, from the 45 streets, to enhance safety.

Beijing police said Monday more than 490,000 civilians have been deployed to patrol the city's streets, to help police maintain security during the upcoming week-long Spring Festival Holiday.

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