No fireworks are the same, just as people are not the same, because one likes decorative fireworks and the other likes bangs. But what do you really know about fireworks? Where did it come from and when was it invented?
Everyone knows sparklers fireworks and almost everyone used has played with sparklers as a child. Wonderful stuff because it gives a beautiful effect and is relatively harmless in terms of fireworks (if used in the right way). A frequently heard statement is that stars are supposedly cold fire… For the stars that fly off this is true and when they touch your hand they have already cooled down (usually). But did you know that the core of a sparkler’s flame gets incredibly hot? Some can reach a temperature of as much as 1000 to 1600 degrees Celsius! That is on average 15 times as hot as a kettle with boiling water!
Furthermore, you of course have the flares or arrows, which can reach a speed of 240 kilometers per hour when they are set off. And the reason you see the fireworks display before you hear the bang is because light travels much faster than sound. The sound travels at a speed of 343 metres per second while light travels at a whopping 300 million metres per second!
The first documented use of fireworks dates back to China for over 2,000 years.
China is the largest manufacturer and exporter of fireworks worldwide. 90% of all fireworks in the world come from China.
In 1240 the Arabs learned about gunpowder. A Syrian man named Hasan al-Rammah wrote about the use of fireworks from China, thus confirming that the Arabs owe their knowledge to China.
Fireworks made their way to Europe in the 13th century and by the 15th century they were widely used for religious festivals and public entertainment.
In the USA the first record of fireworks is from a fireworks display on Independence Day in Philadelphia in 1777.
If you often dream about fireworks, it means that you like to be the center of attention. It also symbolizes enthusiasm and joy.
Fireworks were often used to improve parties and to scare evil spirits.
Fireworks are “no fun” for pets, well for all animals. Keep your pets indoors and make sure they have a place to rest. It goes without saying that you do not light fireworks when someone walks past with his / her pet.
Above Steamboat Springs, Colorado, a 1,270-kilogram flare was fired on February 8, 2020. A new world record. The snowy mountains turned red after a huge blast from the glow of the flare.
The Japanese word for fireworks is “hanabi”, which means “fire flower.”
In the beginning, fireworks were more to the ear than to the eye. In its simplest form, gunpowder made for an impressive bang, but nothing more than a golden glow in the sky was visible. Only later did people discover that by using different chemical compounds there were many nice colors to be seen. In 1830, the Italians were the first people to add small amounts of metal (which burn at high temperatures) to the fireworks, thus popping beautiful colors in the sky. Other additions had different effects. Calcium provides a deeper color, titanium creates stars and zinc creates clouds of smoke.
Blue: Copper (II) sulfate
Gold: Aluminum, magnesium
Green: Barium Sulphate
Red: Strontium salts
White: Aluminum, magnesium
Yellow: Sodium salts
The chemicals determine the colors, but the key to achieving a certain explosive shape lies in how the firework’s “stars” are aligned inside the shell. To make a shape in the sky, firework technicians simply set up the same pattern with the small pellets inside the packaged shell before firing it. That’s how they make smiley faces, hearts and stars.
In the Netherlands they have a different tradition: Carbide shooting. They put carbide in a milk can, container or any kind of tube, add water and close the can with usually a football. In the can a new gas is formed called ethyne, which they ignite from the outside through a hole. What follows is a gigantic explosion and the ball flies tens of meters through the air. This has to be done in open fields because the explosion causes all windows to break.
Enjoy the fireworks at the end of this year. But keep it safe!