What is it about fireworks that makes us feel that a celebration seems incomplete without them? Some love them, some hate them, yet they continue to light up our skies across the world. Whether you are in your home country, or travelling the world, you may find yourself asking ‘why are there fireworks tonight?’.
Therefore, we decided to compile a list of some popular celebrations around the world involving fireworks and what those events mean and entail.
Firework celebrations across the world
Independence Day – USA
On the 4th July, the USA celebrates its independence, which was first declared back in 1776 after they departed from the rule of the British Empire. An occasion celebrated across the entire United States, fireworks typically light up the night sky after a day of spending time with family and friends. Widely regarded as the best display of these celebrations, the fireworks over Washington D.C. enchant the American population, seeing them rain over historical buildings like the Capitol Building and Washington Monument in a wonderful array of colours.
Sumidagawa Firework Festival – Japan
While a lot of the world waits until certain events to unleash a barrage of fireworks into the sky, Japan is a place where fireworks can be more than that, they can be a competition. Originally traced back to 1732 to celebrate the dead, the Sumidagawa firework festival is the best example of this, where rival pyrotechnic groups showcase their fireworks to see who can deliver the best display. The result for neutral citizens is an array of unique firework performances that are enjoyable beyond belief.
Diwali – India
Diwali, also known as ‘The Festival of Lights’ has been a part of Indian culture for as long as anyone can remember, originally being referenced in the second half of the 1st millennium CE (between 500 and 1000 AD). Usually lasting 5 days, it has deep ties to Hinduism and is symbolic in celebrating the victory of light over darkness, something we can also see in many other cultures across the world. While fireworks were not a part of early Diwali celebrations, it was inevitable that bright, majestic fireworks would work their way into the tradition, appropriately creating a series of lights across the sky that seem fitting for a festival celebrating triumph.
Christmas – Peru
Not typically an occasion that European countries celebrate with fireworks, Christmas in Peru and indeed other South American countries can be a time where awe-inspiring firework displays help celebrate this popular holiday. One of the best examples of this is in Peru’s capital, Lima. In the days leading up to the day which is known as ‘Noche Buena’ in Peru, you will find many people trying to sell fireworks in several places across the capital. This is something that most families take part in and when the day finally comes, you will seldom find a family that is not contributing to the wonderful display of fireworks, lighting up the beautiful city.
Eid Al-Adha – Dubai
Another occasion with religious overtones where fireworks appear is Eid Al-Adha, which celebrates the end of the month of Ramadan, a month of spiritual reflection, fasting, community and prayer for Muslims worldwide. Fireworks work their way into many countries around the world celebrating this occasion, although Dubai has become very popular due to its outstanding fireworks display to commemorate the event. Multiple firework displays have been coordinated to happen at the same time with these celebrations, creating a plethora of incredible patterns and colours across the United Arab Emirates.
Guy Fawkes Night – United Kingdom
Remember, remember, the 5th of November. One of the more unique celebrations involving fireworks that doesn’t reference religious holidays, Guy Fawkes Night is celebrated across the entire United Kingdom every year on the fifth day of November. Guy Fawkes was a member of English Catholics in 1604 who believed in a catholic rebellion against the current protestant rule of King James. He orchestrated a plot to assassinate the king which involved planting large amounts of gunpowder beneath the Houses of Parliament. However, this plan was foiled before it’s intended result had come to fruition. Fawkes and other conspirators were executed, Parliament then declared the 5th of November as a celebration of thanksgiving and again a symbol of good prevailing over evil. Not only do incredible fireworks light up the night sky, but bonfires (a large, controlled outdoor fire) are lit which traces back to the original celebration of this event.
New Years Eve – Across the Globe
How could we talk about the many occasions in which fireworks make an appearance without talking about New Years, the most popular shared occasion across the world involving these amazing pyrotechnics. While having spiritual connotations in some parts of the world, the New Years celebrations are a celebration of life and the perseverance of it as we enter a new year in our short history. While not outrightly intended as a competition, the shared celebration of this event has resulted in so many displays across the world that it is hard not to compare and assess the best performances.
So many occasions with so much significance, it is truly amazing that they can be linked in the ways that they are celebrated. We look forward to the progression of these celebrations and the ways fireworks are incorporated into them.