Something to be aware of if you are planning on traveling to the Dominican Republic over the next few months. Those fireworks that you find for sale on the streets are illegal to use here. While it is probably pretty unlikely that you would get caught, it is usually a good idea to obey the laws in countries you visit.

Haitian Fireworks for the Holidays

Over the next few months the smuggling of fireworks from Haiti into the Dominican Republic increases and they becoming easier and easier to find. Often they are used as part of the various celebrations in the upcoming months.

Carbide and Water bombs


When they can’t find (or afford) fireworks Dominican kids usually make due with homemade fire crackers made with a coffee can, carbide (easily purchased at a local hardware store or Ferreteria), water, and a match. By placing a few carbide rocks in the bottom of a can, adding a little water, and then igniting the acetylene gas, a impressive explosion can be made.

As the holidays come around you start hearing more and more of these explosions with surprisingly few injuries. Over the last few years I have heard them go off hundreds of times near my house and have only heard reports of minor burns.

Adults here seem to prefer more sophisticated forms of firecrackers. Gun fire is frequently heard during this time, often with large numbers of rounds being fired off at a time. Unfortunately this seems to be accepted even in the cities.

So fireworks, acetylene or carbide and water bombs, or gunfire while part of the local festivities, these are all things you should likely avoid during your visit to the Dominican Republic.