For two years, fireworks were banned from being sold around New Year’s in Germany. But at the end of 2022, explosives are back on the German shelves, to the delight of the Alsatians.
In Germany, it is a strong tradition to launch fireworks and rockets to celebrate the New Year. But in 2020 and 2021, their sale was banned so as not to overburden hospitals overwhelmed by the Covid pandemic. This Thursday the 29th December, explosives again fill the shopping carts of the Germans, but also many Alsaceans.
The return of these rockets and other fireworks delights professionals across the Rhine: “This is good news.witnesses a specialized seller. We have remodeled all our warehouses because we expect to have many people, and of course French!”
In Germany, sales are approved from this 29 December 2022. It therefore remains supervised and reserved for adults. This does not prevent supermarkets from promoting it in catalogs worthy of an arsenal that attracts customers:
Because like every year, with the exception of 2020 and 2021, many Alsaceans cross the Rhine to buy fireworks, and the latter have been banned from being sold in Bas-Rhin since 3. December: “We were there from the opening with my sonswitnesses this father who took the road to Karlsruhe. And the shelves had already been robbed. But we could buy for 80 euros in rockets.”
In this shop in Kehl several customers came from France: “We come to do our usual shopping and we take the opportunity to leave with a few fireworks, but not too many because we know there is border control”witnesses this couple.
In Bas-Rhin, the purchase, sale, transfer, use and transport and transportation of all fireworks and pyrotechnic articles is prohibited until 3 January. On the French side, on the Pont de l’Europe, the welcome committee has been in place since 9 this Thursday, December 29; German and French police systematically search every vehicle. Several kilometers of deceleration formed on the road to return to France.
The trunks of the vehicles are scrutinized and the explosives systematically seized. Depending on the quantities, buyers are subject to a legal reminder or a fine if the trunk overflows with fireworks.
But in Alsace, some shops sell this kind of explosives all year round. This is the case in Drusenheim, east of Haguenau, in the pharmacy Kautzmann. Due to the prefectural decree, this month of December sounds like a stop. What his manager Gilles Kautzmann regrets: “If the sale was approved, we could recruit an extra employee so that we would sell. But I had to put up banners so that the customers did not buy. It’s a shame, because we have the equipment and the customers have the money.”
Gilles Kautzmann is particularly indignant that the ban benefits the black market. For several years, many Alsatian people have actually been getting rockets and fireworks on Snapchat. 300 kg of fireworks and pyrotechnics were seized in mid-December from a Bas-Rhinois who used the application to trade them.