BEIJING, Jan. 20 (Xinhuanet) -- With a loud bang, glittering golden fireworks are shot up, which quickly form in the shape of a swirling Chinese dragon.
As the dragon rises up into the night sky, numerous shining silver tiny dragons appear flying in formation around their larger cousin, and, within seconds, all transform into flowers of many colors at the top of the sky.
This is one of a new batch of dragon-themed fireworks being released to mark the coming Year of the Dragon in the Chinese Zodiac, which begins on Monday according to the lunar calendar.
All the eight new fireworks based on a dragon design will go on sale at the 400-plus sub-stores of Panda Fireworks, a leading fireworks manufacturing company in China, in Beijing on Friday, the first day that fireworks are allowed to be sold in urban areas of the capital, said Wei Bo, market manager of Panda Fireworks.
"The dragon is an auspicious creature in Chinese culture, and it is loved by everyone. Besides, it is easy to use fireworks to imitate the dancing and swirling of the creature. That is why we developed this series of fireworks this year," Wei said.
The dragon series fireworks include eight different types, each with an attractive name, such as "golden dragon sending wishes" and "jade dragon spitting gold". The prices range from about 300 yuan ($47) to nearly 1,000 yuan, depending on the number of times it discharges, Wei said.
"But the prices on the labels are the maximum prices allowed. Customers may pay a lower price in our sub-stores across the city, depending on the policy of each sub-store," Wei added.
The residents can set off fireworks from 7 pm to midnight during Spring Festival in Beijing's urban areas, except on the eve of Spring Festival and the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, when they can set off fireworks the whole day, according to regulations.
"It is an innovative idea to design fireworks based on the dragon in the Year of the Dragon," said Zhang Ziwen, a Beijing resident. "But the prices of fireworks in the markets in urban areas are too expensive. If the fireworks are really good, maybe I will buy some."
However, some said they are doubtful that the fireworks can faithfully recreate the dragon's shape.
"I do not think it is possible for a firework to vividly resemble the features of a Chinese dragon. I won't spend my money to buy a firework that is only hype."
(Source: China Daily)