Sunday, 15 December 2019
Englishman in Dubrovnik Englishman in Dubrovnik

Enough of the Christmas fireworks!

By  Dec 29, 2018

Why do we have love affair with fireworks over the festive season? I don’t! And I am sure that I’m not alone either. Is there some tradition that I don’t know about of blowing things up at Christmas? Did they celebrate the birth of Christ by shooting fireworks over the stable? Or was there a fourth Wise Man who arrived after the three bearing gold, frankincense and myrrh carrying a big bag of bangers and a box of matches?

Don’t get me wrong I’m not against fireworks per say. If they are in a controlled environment then they can bring a certain colour to a festival, such as the opening of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival. But in the wrong hands, which they so often are, they are killers. I am basically under siege in my own home.

Every day a multitude of fireworks and bangers echo around Župa, its like living on the Gaza Strip. And with every bang and blast my pets look at me as if to say “is that the end of the world?” Yes, we celebrate the holiest of times by killing animals. Countless pets die every year due to mainly heart attacks from the sounds of fireworks. That’s how we celebrate a Christian holiday by killing animals, doesn’t sound very Christian or very humane to me.

I don’t blame the children, well not so much, for any child would be attracted to a colourful explosion. I blame the parents who are acting like children! Why the hell would you buy fireworks for your children? I really can’t understand the brain that would think – “here’s a box of 30 bangers and a lighter go and have fun.” You are giving your children explosives you morons! You might as well give them a super sharp knife and say “just be careful” or a loaded pistol and say “just don’t point it at anyone” or for that matter half a kilo of cocaine and say “just don’t get addicted.”

According to statistics the vast majority of injuries are to the eyes, head or hands – so children will have visible scars for life. And it’s your fault! You bought them. For a second of laughter your child could have their life changed. Estimates suggest that this festive season around 50 tons of pyrotechnics will be lit in Zagreb alone. Just do a rough calculation on exactly how much money is being spent on these few seconds of noise. Incredibly you only have to be over 14 to use fireworks in Croatia. That is surely a law that needs changing.

In 2017 five people actually died at Christmas and New Year in Europe due to firework related injuries and the number of casualties is in the thousands, with the majority being children, in fact boys. Well I guess if you want to give your son a Christmas present that he will remember for the rest of his life then buy him a huge box of bangers. He’ll remember the visit to the emergency room and that ugly scar across his face until the day he dies.

In our home we have what we call the “moron scale.” Basically it works on a decibel scale. The bigger the bang we hear in the neighbourhood then bigger the moron. And even though we close all the windows and doors, shut the curtains and pump up the music on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve there are always winners on the moron scale who manage to frighten the living daylights out of our pets. We try to calm them down by saying “don’t worry that was just the biggest moron this Christmas.”

Plastic surgeons have got together in the UK to lobby the government to show graphic pictures of injuries that occur to the fireworks. A little like the morbid pictures on cigarette boxes today. One leading plastic surgeon commented that “Although packaged in a jovial, toy-like fashion, people forget that when using fireworks they are handling explosives which can cause extremely serious injuries.” Yes, explosives. Explosives that mindless parents are handing over to children to have a little fun. These very parents would certainly top our moron scale!           

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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