Tatiana Geiselmann (in Kiel, Germany), edited by Gauthier Delomez
12:26 p.m., 31 December 2022
Despite their ban, Alsace does not hesitate to go to Germany to buy fireworks for the New Year. These products, which are making a comeback in Germany after a two-year ban, are still very successful with French customers.
“You only have that in a small firework?” asks a customer in a fireworks shop on the other side of the Franco-German border, in Kehl, Germany. A store where a hundred people have paraded since Thursday in search of these New Year’s essentials. “We ordered five or six pallets and everything is already gone! We have lots of customers, especially French”, explains the manager at Europa 1’s microphone.
Banned in Germany for two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, fireworks are making a comeback in supermarkets across the Rhine, with many Alsatians crossing the border to do their shopping.
“It’s a tradition with us”
And for good reason: for three years the sale and use of fireworks has been banned in the Alsace region. However, the traditions are well rooted. “New Year, without fireworks, it’s not New Year!” Confirms Hakim, a young boy at the microphone in Europe 1.
Her mother believes: “I was born in Strasbourg and it’s always been like that. It’s a tradition with us. Every year we make fireworks. We really celebrate!” The family has just bought fireworks for 180 euros. She is about to leave for Strasbourg, less than ten minutes away on foot, hoping not to be caught at the border.
“I’m a bit scared, but unfortunately there isn’t much choice. It’s make or break,” agrees the mother. In the event that “it breaks”, the fine can go up to 750 euros.