Kunamkulam:  This year Vishu will be a tad too Chinese, at least when the skies light up. The local firecracker industry has slowed down making way for the Chinese intrusion into the festival market.

The new kinds of crackers are being produced at Sivakasi using Chinese technology. The novel varieties introduced in the market include those that will not cause burns even if they fall on human skin and others that promise to be free of explosion risks.

The Chinese crackers will include innovative sounds and colours to the traditional cracker varieties of Kerala. There are more that can generate music, can send umbrellas flying down and can create flower carpets in the sky. The Mahautsav flower pots that bursts with varied formations for a full fifteen minutes is also in high demand.

The sellers vouch by the safety of the Chinese crackers. Sellers like K M Lenin are also hopeful of good sales because the customers are looking for variety crackers. There are also cracker gift packets costing anywhere between Rs. 250- 2500.   

The Chinese crackers are also employing some interesting branding techniques. Children have grown fond of varieties like skywarrior 60 shot, aerial crackers, cinitoys and bombers. The raid at the wholesale unit at Kunnamkulam has dampened the sales a bit. More sellers, including cooperative groups and small scale establishments have also entered the market this year.