Americans get ready to get ready to celebrate Independence Day on July 4th with fireworks. In this day and age fireworks can awe us and to take our breath away.
The First Fireworks
Fireworks first came into existence in 200 BC in the time when the ancient Chinese used to roast pieces of bamboo in the fire. Hollow pockets in the bamboo would explode and evil spirits would be blocked.
Around 900 AD In the Tang Dynasty, Chinese alchemists were mixing together saltpeter (potassium in nitrate) along with charcoal and sulfur which was an early form of gunpowder.
They stuffed it into hollowed-out bamboo sticks, and then cooked them to make an explosive blast. Nowadays, fireworks are feature of Chinese New Year and the mid-autumn moon festivals.
At the time of the 10th century Chinese had discovered that fireworks could be attached to arrows to create simple bombs. In the 12th century they had learned to blast the explosives up into the air, thus creating the first aerial display.
By 1240 AD in 1240 AD, Arabs had acquired knowledge about gunpowder and its uses from China. Arab writers described fireworks, fireworks, and other explosives by the name of “Chinese flowering plants.”
The 13th century saw an increase in trade and gunpowder formulas started appearing throughout Europe and Arabia. Alchemists began to experiment with the formula and they created even more powerful gunpowder for use in muskets and cannons.
In England the experts in fireworks were referred to for their work as “firemasters,” and their assistants were referred to as “green guys,” due to the fact that they wore caps made from leaves. This was to protect them from sparks from the fireworks.
Fireworks in Europe
During the Renaissance in Europe, there were schools of fireworks that trained artists. They also were popular in Italy. During the 1830s, the Italians included trace amounts of metallic elements so that they could create multi-colored displays.
Fireworks were often used for public celebrations and religious ceremonies They became very loved by European rulers. The first documented spectacle of firework during the history of Great Britain took place on Henry VII’s wedding day in 1486. Henry VII was the father of the well-known Henry VIII.
In France, fireworks were part of the spectacle for the revelers at Versailles In Russia, Czar Peter the Great presented the world’s largest fireworks show for five hours on the occasion of an infant son’s birth.
On the 15th of May 1749, England’s Duke of Richmond put on a fireworks celebration at Whitehall along the River Thames, for the benefit of King George II to celebrate the signing of the treaty which ended the War of Austrian Succession. For the occasion, musician George Frideric Handel created an accompanying piece entitled, “Music for the Royal Fireworks.”
Unfortunately, some of the fireworks fell onto the pavilion that housed all the other fireworks. A large number of fireworks ignited at once and killed three people.
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The New World
Captain John Smith may have set off the first fireworks in Jamestown Colony. Jamestown Colony in 1608.
On the 4th of July 1777, fireworks celebrated the nation’s first birthday. In 1789, George Washington’s inaugural was celebrated with a fireworks display.
The day before the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, John Adams wrote to his wife:
“The day will be most significant in the history of America, … I’m inclined to think that it will be cherished in future generations as the grand anniversary celebration. It is a time to celebrate using pomp and a the parade … bonfires and illuminations [fireworks] … all the way from one end of the continent to the next, from now onward forever.”
Countries throughout the world use fireworks to celebrate.
France is known for its fireworks. It’s the eve of Bastille Day (July 14) to commemorate the destruction of the Bastille in 1789. Hungary will set off fireworks on August 20th. in India fireworks are a an integral part of the “festival with lights” (Diwali) which is celebrated in October or November each year.
Japan has more than 200 celebrations for fireworks in the month of August including the biggest in Tondabayashi as well as Osaka. For Monte Carlo, fireworks are part of the National Day of Monaco on November 18th.
Singapore is home to Singapore Fireworks Celebrations on its National Day. In Switzerland fireworks are set off during the country’s national celebration day August 1st.
Great Britain uses fireworks on Guy Fawkes Night, which falls on November 5, to commemorate the defeat of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605. The largest fireworks shows are held throughout the towns including Sheffield, Holyhead, Inverness, Cambridge, and Cardiff.
in the U.S., on the Fourth of July, there will be large fireworks shows that take place in New York City over the Hudson River, along the Charles River in Boston, as well as at the National Mall in Washington DC.
If you’ve been to some of the Disney parks, you’re aware that the night typically ends with an amazing fireworks show.
In the year 2004, Disneyland, in Anaheim, California, pioneered the use of compressed air instead of gunpowder to set off fireworks. They also used an electric timer to ignite the fireworks in mid-air, resulting in lower levels of fumes and greater accuracy in timing and height.
In the present, the Walt Disney Company is the largest consumer of fireworks in the U.S.