Sky lanterns to be banned

The Ministry of Public Security is collecting information about damage caused by sky lanterns and later will submit proposals to the government for banning sky lanterns, Mr. Do Van Son, Director of Fire Prevention and Fighting Police Department said February 20.

Hanoians gather to play with sky lanterns
The proposal has come after a spate of serious incidents caused by sky lanterns.
The Department is directing relevant officials to gather and submit figures concerning damage caused by sky lanterns.
After all reports are submitted, the Department will consider the situation before sending the proposal to the government for banning sky lanterns.
Sky lanterns, den troi, are a traditional activity where Vietnamese believe releasing sky lanterns will take their wishes to the Heaven. 
Currently, most sky lanterns available in local markets are made in China.
While carrying out initial studies, the Department recognized that Chinese-made sky lanterns work like a hot-air balloon. While soaring into the sky, if there is any strong wind, the light of the lantern will blaze up, turning the whole lantern into a fireball.
Even more dangerous is the material used to make the light for the lantern, so as to burn for many hours. When the lantern has burnt itself out the light can still ignite objects nearby.
At present, only Ho Chi Minh City and the south central coastal province of Khanh Hoa have issued a directive not to use sky lanterns for festivals and cultural events.
The Ha Noi’s Fire Prevention and Fighting Police Office also petitioned Ha Noi People’s Committee to issue regulations banning sky lantern production, trading, transporting and use in Hanoi.
According to a recent summary by Ha Noi’s Fire Prevention and Fighting Police Office, Ha Noi only had ten fires in 2008 but during Tet eight fires were caused by sky lanterns.

By Tr.Kien – Translated by Truong Son

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