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Fireworks by the Numbers

Fireworks have a long history of bringing both entertainment as well as act as a security measure against evil spirits. The fascination has led to the development of magnificent fireworks that are now an integral part of the world’s cultures and different festivities around the world.
When it comes to fireworks, there are many quirky details and things people might not know. Here’s a numeric look at the history of fireworks.


If you are a chocolate lover – and why wouldn’t you be? – then you might be interested to know that in 2002 a firework containing around 60kg chocolate was exploded above a city in Switzerland. The firework was 3 metres high and 1.5 metres in diameter and full of Swiss Cailler chocolates.


768mph is the speed of sound. Compare this to the speed of light, which is 671 million mph, and you can understand why you often see the firework before you hear the loud explosion.


Fireworks injuries are unfortunately a common occurrence and yearly accidents are on the rise, although fireworks safety knowledge has been improving. The most shocking statistic is the fact that over 50% of all fireworks injuries happen to children under the age of 17, despite most fireworks being illegal for children to buy and use.


That is the number of fireworks set off during the largest firework display in the world. The firework extravaganza took place last November in Norway. The display lasted a staggering 20 minutes and took the record away from a display in Dubai, which shot over 400,000 fireworks during New Year’s Eve celebrations in 2013.


1486 was the year when Britain celebrated the wedding of Henry VII, but the year also witnessed the first recorded use of fireworks in England. In fact, the fireworks display was organised for Henry VII’s wedding celebrations.

$675 Million

British people love fireworks, and the run up to Bonfire Night is easily the biggest selling period for fireworks retailers in the UK. In the US, the country goes firework-mad in the run up to 4th of July, and it is estimated that consumer sales were close to $675 million in 2014.


18 is the number of main elements used in fireworks. The elements control the colour, sparkle and even noise of the fireworks, so mixing different elements together is an important part of creating amazing fireworks. The 18 key elements used in fireworks are: aluminium, antimony, barium, calcium, carbon, chlorine, copper, iron, lithium, magnesium, oxygen, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, sulphur, strontium, titanium, and zinc.


Every country has its own legislations when it comes to fireworks. In 2009, Norway banned rocket-type fireworks from public use, with the neighbouring Sweden banning firecrackers in 2001.

22 Hours

In 1996, Hong Kong celebrated the New Year by setting off a string of firecrackers. The whole event lasted for 22 hours, making it one of the longest firework displays in the world.
Fireworks are a fun addition to any party and they have long had a central role in cultural celebrations. It is always important to keep safety in mind to guarantee everyone has nothing but good memories of these fantastic explosives!

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