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Less bang for Beijing New Year due to smog

Fri, 02/01/2013 - 9:25pm
Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's notoriously smog-bound capital Beijing asked residents on Friday to set off fewer fireworks over this month's Chinese New Year period as it battles a persistent air quality crisis.

Air quality in Beijing has mostly stayed above "very unhealthy" and "hazardous" levels for about two weeks, though strong winds cleared the haze away on Friday.

Chinese New Year, which begins February 10, is marked by riotous fireworks displays traditionally thought to bring good luck for the year ahead, which turn cities into near war zones and blacken the skies with thick smoke for hours on end.

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