Beijing (Agencies): Celebrations turned awry as fireworks set off to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year killed two people and injured over 200.

The two were killed in an explosion while setting off shoddy fireworks on Thursday, the official media reported quoting a statement from the Beijing Municipal Office.

While 223 suffered injuries ranging from burns to their eyes and other parts of the body, it said.

China formally bids goodbye to the year of "Tiger" on February 2 and celebrated yesterday as the beginning of the year of "Rabbit" as per the Zodiac calendar.

According to rules, Chinese were permitted to light the fireworks only during the New Year week after which it becomes an offence to light the crackers without official permission.

A new set of rules were enacted to restrict the time and places for fireworks and firecrackers.

In 2009, an illegal fireworks display kindled a blaze that consumed a building of the newly-built headquarters of China Central Television (CCTV), killing one fireman and injuring another eight.