Bangers not necessary: 5 ideas for how to ring in the new year without fireworks

Fireworks rockets, bangers, jumping crackers, sparklers – all traditionally part of New Year’s Eve. But many people with chronic respiratory diseases avoid fireworks and similar activities where there is smoke. They avoid them for the sake of their health. Because smoke and particulate matter, which is produced when bangers explode and fireworks are set off, penetrate deep into the lungs and can cause a great deal of irritation. It is not uncommon that those affected report coughing and shortness of breath for several days after the festivities. Saskia Meyen, 1st Chairperson of Kartagener’s Syndrome and Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia Association, explains, “The affected people we serve report that with smoke of any kind they have to deal with severe respiratory problems two to three days later because of their clinical situation. So, even if the effects are not immediately noticeable, smoke damages their lungs and it takes people with PCD a long time to recover. This is why many patients no longer have firecrackers, bangers, and rockets as a part of their New Year’s Eve.”

Alternatives to rockets, bangers and jumping crackers: 5 ideas for New Year’s Eve


Completely abandon traditional noise and twinkling lights? You don’t have to. We have compiled some alternative ways for you to welcome in the new year with great fanfare – just without any fireworks.

  1. Set off confetti cannons
    The best part about fireworks are the twinkling colours up the sky. You can still have bright colours and twinkling confetti showering down without particulate matter or smoke. Set off a confetti cannon and enjoy a shower of multicolour or gold confetti.
  2. Blow on paper curls
    Inundate each other with New Year's greetings, launching paper curls after each one. Who wouldn’t be in a festive mood after being bombarded with greetings and covered in paper curls?
  3. Pop balloons
    For people who really like it loud, popping balloons is a good alternative to setting off bangers and jumping crackers. You can either stomp on the balloons with your feet or pop them with a pin. When blowing up the balloons, it’s easiest to use a pump.
  4. Blow on a kazoo
    Another way to really make a lot of noise is to blow on the kazoos common at carnival or Mardi Gras and children’s birthday parties. No reason not to blow your heart out on colourful kazoos to celebrate the New Year, too! And you will even be doing your lungs a favour at the same time. Because blowing on a kazoo has an effect similar to that of PEP systems like the PARI O-PEP. Mucus becomes loosened and you can cough it up more easily.
  5. Try some customs from other countries and establish your own new traditions
    While in Germany fireworks and New Year’s Eve go hand in hand, other countries do not celebrate this way. For example, in Spain people celebrate raucously into the wee hours, but they do not shoot off a single firework. And who says that bangers and rockets is the only fun tradition? Establish your own highly personal New Year’s Eve traditions. Get creative or take inspiration from some of these fun ideas from other countries:
  • Italy: Put on red underwear. They are supposed to be given to you and you should wear them for the first time on New Year’s Eve night.
  • Portugal: Make noise and jump. Bang pots and pans together at midnight to drive away evil spirits. Or at midnight jump off a chair to start the new year full of energy.
  • Spain: Eat grapes for good luck. You have to eat 12 grapes while the clock is striking 12 times to guarantee good luck in the new year!
  • Turkey: Water flood! When the clock strikes midnight, turn on all the taps to be flooded with riches and blessings in the new year.


PARI hopes you have a great time celebrating on New Year’s Eve and wishes you a happy and, most importantly, healthy new year!

An article written by the PARI BLOG editorial team.

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