‘Fireworks are no crime’, is displayed on the fireworks shops in Baarle-Hertog. But the Dutch citizens who buy their fireworks in the enclave before the 29th of December can expect to get a fine by the Dutch police – if they get caught.
Baarle is famous for its fireworks shops. In the Netherlands, fireworks can only be bought three days a year, but in the Belgian enclaves, local entrepeneurs are allowed to sell fireworks all year long. Especially in the months before New Year’s Eve, the village is crowded with Dutch citizens from all over the country to buy Chinese 1000-crackers, Belgian mega rockets and smoke bombs. Local shops named Zena fireworks and the Pyroshop are accused of causing huge traffic jams in the small center of the village and the main routes towards it. But the owners don’t mind: they do good business.