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Where and When Did Fireworks Originate?

We’ve all stood outside in anticipation and turned our attention to the night sky. The anticipation of something fun quickly turns into cheerful bursts of “Oh” and “Ah”, as the colourful fireworks fill the sky and bring a smile to your face.

Red and green fireworks

Fireworks have become the stable of many of our most loved celebrations. They are the essential building blocks of a good Bonfire Night and New Year’s Eve party and most couples now include firework displays to their wedding celebrations.
But where and when did fireworks originate?

All Roads Lead to China

Fireworks are a Chinese invention and the first ‘firecrackers’ date back all the way to the time of the Han Dynasty, around 200 B.C. While these ‘firecrackers’ were simply dried bamboo chunks thrown into the fire to sizzle and eventually explode.
Later on, around the time of the development of gunpowder in China, the firework industry got kick-started. The earliest documentation of fireworks goes all the way back to the 7th century and the Tang Dynasty.
The crackling noises of the first fireworks were thought to protect people from evil spirits and therefore, fireworks are associated with luck and happiness in China to this day. For these reasons, fireworks also become a central part of public events and celebrations.
China remains, to this day, the largest manufacturer of fireworks. If you are interested in learning more about how fireworks are manufactured in the country, you should read our previous blog post on the subject!

Development of Fireworks Around the World

While fireworks originate in China, the development of fireworks into products we all love today took place across the world. Discoveries in the use of gunpowder, the shell casing, as well as the colours and designs of fireworks took place both in China and Europe.
Europeans fell in love with fireworks after the introduction of gunpowder. Just like in China, fireworks soon became a stable part of public gatherings and popularity of fireworks helped develop the industry further.
Interestingly, the colour of fireworks remained the same for over 1,000 years. It was not until the 1830s that scientist in Southern Italy were able to use chemistry to create the various reds, greens, blues, and yellows we see in fireworks today.
As the popularity of fireworks began to grow, the industry developed specialist profession in manufacturing and organising displays. Around the world, these fireworks specialist still compete over the biggest explosions and the best displays to wow audiences.

A Stable Entertainment

As mentioned above, fireworks have been a big celebratory entertainment right from the get-go. Fireworks are used in some of China’s biggest festival and the rest of the world isn’t any different. From sporting events to private celebrations, fireworks are a big part of how we celebrate things.
If you want to add a bit more fun to your next party, then check out our website for some fireworks magic. You can find fireworks to suit all occasions – whether you are looking to organise a small garden party or throw a big display at your wedding!

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