History of Fireworks

amw - Today, fireworks are a symbol of celebration almost all over the world. Towards the New Year, some people set off fireworks to add more fun.

As we are all can see that from ancient China to the New World, fireworks have progressed significantly.

The first fireworks – in the form of gunpowder firecrackers – were very simple and only made a 'pop' sound. But the modern version now, can create various shapes, sounds, and colors.

The Beginning of Fireworks

Many historians think that fireworks were invented in China. According to the American Pyrotechnics Safety and Education Foundation, for about A.D 800, chemists in China mixed potassium nitrate, sulfur, charcoal, and succeeded in making raw gunpowder.

That was not their original goal. The chemists are actually trying to create a recipe for eternal life. The Chinese believe that explosions can drive away evil spirits.

Although it failed from the main goal, but what they created was able to change the world today.

To create the world's first fireworks, they wrapped gunpowder in bamboo shoots and threw it into the fire causing a loud explosion.

After that, fireworks evolved. Bamboo shoots are replaced with paper tubes. However, this time they did not throw the tube directly into the fire, but instead used tissue paper as a wick.

In the 10th century, the Chinese began to realize that they could make bombs from gunpowder. They are also used to attaching firecrackers to arrows before shooting enemies.

Two hundred years later, fireworks were developed to resemble rockets: they could be released into enemy territory without the use of arrows. This technology is still used today–especially during fireworks displays.

Celebration Symbol

In 1295, Marco Polo brought fireworks from China to Europe. Then, around the 13th century, gunpowder and the recipe for making it spread there – as well as the Arabian Peninsula – through French diplomats, explorers and missionaries.

From there, the West began to develop gunpowder into more powerful weapons such as cannons and rifles.

Even so, Westerners still retain the original idea of ​​fireworks and use them during celebrations. In medieval times, comedians even set off fireworks to entertain the audience.

Fireworks as part of the entertainment were also approved by British leaders. The first fireworks in the British Empire were lit to celebrate Henry VII's wedding in 1486.

Not to be outdone, Peter the Great, who is Tsar of Russia, organized a five-hour fireworks display at the birth of his son.

When Europeans finally ventured into the New World (the Americas), their fireworks recipe carried over there too. According to, Captain John Smith was the first to set off fireworks in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1608.

Even so, the tradition of fireworks in America, only started on July 4, 1776, to celebrate the Declaration of Independence.

Until now, every commemoration of US Independence Day (Fourth of July), is always enlivened with fireworks displays.

Colorful Fireworks

During the Renaissance, schools of pyrotechnics (techniques for making fireworks and firecrackers) sprang up in Europe. Students there are taught to create elaborate explosions.

In Italy, fireworks are very popular. In the 1830s, the people of the country, added small amounts of metal and other materials to increase the brightness of the light and create various shapes in fireworks explosions.

They can also add color to fireworks. At that time, all the fireworks were orange.

However, the Italians were not satisfied with this. They then began to combine various compounds – creating the colors of the fireworks that are similar to today's.

They used strontium for red, barium for green, copper for blue, and sodium for yellow.

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