End of year fireworks sales high despite calls for alternatives

Fireworks at Tallinn's Inglirand Beach on January 1, 2022.
Fireworks at Tallinn's Inglirand Beach on January 1, 2022. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Despite calls for people to not use fireworks this New Year's Eve, sales are still as high as last year, retailers have said. However, several companies and councils have confirmed they will not use them.

Ivo Melder, manager of fireworks manufacturer Ruf Ilutulesik, told "Aktuaalne kaamera" sales are stable and comparable with the last five years.

"50 percent of people in Estonia are in favor of New Year's fireworks and others maybe not so much," said Melder.

Although customers have also been affected by rising prices.

Fireworks at Tallinn's Inglirand Beach on January 1, 2022. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

"Sales of fireworks below €20 may have fallen. If we come now to those over €50, then there is no change. This is a clear sign that people are worried about other bills this year," said Melder.

Lasnamäe store Tulepood said the turnover from fireworks is higher than last year as prices have risen by between 10 and 15 percent.

"I can't say that sales are slow, [they are] around the same or a little higher," said company representative Anton Babenko.

Fireworks at Tallinn's Inglirand Beach on January 1, 2022. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The majority of fireworks are purchased by private individuals, and if there has been no fall in sales amongst this group, then there has been among companies and councils.

"Many municipalities that were our customers for over 20 years have canceled fireworks [displays]," Melder said. Babenko said he had seen a similar trend.

Tallinn is one council that has canceled its annual New Year's Eve display. It is encouraging people to donate the money to animal charities instead.

Vladimir Svet Source: ERR

Deputy Mayor Vladimir Svet (Center) said councilors made the decision for several reasons.

"Fireworks bring a lot of stress and trauma to people who have come from the warzone in Ukraine," he told "Aktuaalne kaamera".

"Fireworks clearly have a negative impact on our urban environment, especially on the birds that have to flee during the fireworks. And the particles that are spread by the fireworks do no direct good either. The city has also been saying for years that fireworks are a major source of stress and danger, especially for domestic animals."

Kristjan Svirgsden. Source: Kairit Leibold/ERR

ERR's camera operator Kristjan Svirgsden, who has reported from Ukraine several times this year, also told end of year radio show "Lõpp hea, kõik hea" on Thursday that Ukrainians may be scared by fireworks.

"I would say that it definitely creates associations with the war for them," Svirgsden said.

He added, that although they do not make exactly the same sounds as those heard in the warzone, they could still trigger people.


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Editor: Merili Nael, Maiken Tiits, Helen Wright

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