Chinese New Year in the Year of the Ram (or Sheep, or Goat) rings in China's most important holiday, the 15-day Spring Festival, and the air pollution that blights many Chinese cities could spoil the fun because fireworks won't be allowed if the air is bad.
A favorite New Year activity is lighting firecrackers to ward off bad luck and encourage good luck. The government's fireworks index will advise the public on whether conditions are appropriate for lighting firecrackers.
Ranging from 1 to 4, the numbers indicate air quality conditions ranging from acceptable for fireworks to extremely unfit.
People born under the Sign of the Ram are known to be quiet, reserved and have soothing personalities, traits useful for keeping the calm if conditions are so bad that the government abandons persuasion in favor of a ban on fireworks.
Date written/update: 2014-05-15