KOZHIKODE: Fireworks such as sparklers, flower pots, rockets, single shots and ‘chakras’ had dominated the firecracker markets in Kozhikode for several years. But these are now being replaced by Chinese fireworks and crackers with fancy and high-sounding names.
Firework shop owners said new items like Pop up, Pogo, Kiddies Joy, Pink Perry and Chota Bheem - suitable for children below the age of four - are witnessing the highest demand. Crackers suitable for youngsters named after Malayalam movies like Odiyan (1000-wala garland) and Pulimurugan have already reached the market.
“Until a few years back, people used to prefer fireworks that made loud and roaring sounds. Nowadays, customers are opting for Chinese products that are less noisy and are brighter and more colourful,” said Ayyan’s World firework store owner Udayashankar P P. The crackers are usually sold at rates ranging between Rs 30 and Rs 50 for a pack to Rs 350 and above for the more expensive ones.
The overall firecracker sales during Vishu, he said, were lean compared to the previous year.“We don’t have an accurate data on the number of customers each day. But since the beginning of the month, we have had only half the number of customers we had last year,” he said.
Echoing his words, Sri Kaliswari Fireworks store owner K P Jayapalan said the native and Chinese products are usually brought from Sivakasi.