The History of Fireworks

The history of fireworks is as colorful as the flashes of light that they emit. China is recognized as the birthplace of fireworks; however, the exact date of its invention, as well as the discovery of gunpowder (an important element used in fireworks) is greatly debated by historians.

Some say that it goes as far back as 2,000 years ago, while others peg it at a much later time during the Middle Ages.

China mainly used fireworks for entertainment purposes. The first firecrackers were bamboo tubes filled with gunpowder which were then thrown into a fire.

The loud noise that these firecrackers—and other subsequent fireworks—emitted was believed to drive away evil spirits. That is why the Chinese usually use them to usher in a new year.

Use of fireworks eventually spread westward, first to the Middle East then later on to Europe. The first recorded use of fireworks in Europe was sometime during the 13th century.

The Europeans also began developing fireworks. They studied it closely and even had schools built specifically for that purpose: one was in Italy while the other was in Nuremberg, Germany.

Today, fireworks continue to be a significant part of major celebrations such as the New Year and Independence Day.


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