A cap on New Year’s Eve fun for refugees in Germany, Shangai residents

A cap on New Year’s Eve fun for refugees in Germany, Shanghai residents

BERLIN — Refugees in some German towns will have to do without fireworks this New Year’s Eve.

According to Reuters, a fireworks ban was announced in the town of Arnsberg in North Rhine-Westphalia, partly out of concern that loud blasts could traumatize people who have fled war zones. The directive was made in several languages to residents of refugee shelters, a spokesman told the Neue Westfaelische daily.

The Arnsberg fire brigade also recommended that townspeople not launch any fireworks “to avoid reawakening memories in people who have fled war and conflict of the horrors that threatened them”.

In other New Year’s Eve news, Shanghai has called off celebrations along its iconic riverfront Bund, as well as in busy shopping districts like Nanjing Road and Yuyuan Garden. Authorities decided to cancel New Year’s Eve celebrations in order to avoid a repeat of last year’s tragic stampede along the Bund that killed 36 people and injured 47. Last year’s crowd reached an approximate 300,000 New Year’s Eve revellers.

Alternatively, this year’s countdown will be confined to Xintiandi, an entertainment district that’s famous for its restored mid-19th century buildings.