New rules put damper on national day fireworks

New rules put damper on national day fireworks
Communes don't want to pay for fireworks training courses. Photo: Takashi Nishimura
Celebrations on Swiss National Day on August 1st may be more muted than usual this year after the government ruled that anyone running a fireworks display must undergo a costly training course.

Since January new legislation means that those working with the most powerful type of fireworks must take a week’s course costing 5,000 francs ($5,537) and pass the exam at the end to gain a ‘B permit’, reports newspaper 20 Minutes.

For a simpler fireworks display, a day course at 500 francs ($553) to achieve an ‘A permit’ will suffice.

The new rules mean that many communes are choosing not to stage big fireworks spectaculars on Swiss National Day this year because of the cost of training.

Alain Christinet, director of a fireworks company in the canton of Vaud, told the newspaper: “Around 90 percent of my clients have opted for a fireworks display that only requires an ‘A permit’ training course for August 1st.”

Some communes have chosen to stage a display so simple that it doesn’t require any training at all.

“Authorities don’t have the means to pay a large sum for a course,” said Christinet.

Fireworks displays are traditionally a big part of celebrations on Swiss national day, a public holiday in the country.

The day is also marked with a gathering on the Rütli meadow in central Switzerland, the birthplace of the Confederation.

And as last year, the Federal Parliament in Bern will open its doors to the public from 9am to 4pm.

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