Celebrating Lunar New Year? What You Need to Know

Lunar New Year - Year of the Rat

Lunar New Year season runs for 15 days from 25 January (New Year's Eve) to 8 February 2020.

Given Brimbank’s very significant Chinese and Vietnamese community, we can expect many celebrations featuring firecrackers will peak around the 26 and 27 January especially at St Albans, Deer Park, and Sunshine shopping centres. 

Your pets, especially cats and dogs can become quite distressed.  Special care is advised during this period.

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.

For this reason, firecrackers displays are particularly popular with the Chinese and Vietnamese business community.

Firecrackers - Do I Need a Permit?

Minimally, all fireworks require Worksafe Notification and notification to any neighbouring properties particularly private residences given certain distress to pets from noise. Firecrackers over public land such as footpaths are also subject to an event permit.

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 (and firecrackers) are: 

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