Did you know that long before fireworks became synonymous with the United States’ 4th of July celebrations, long before dramatic light shows adorned the nighttime skies in festivities across America, the Chinese were already working out the details of how to create brilliantly colorful light shows of their own?
Legend has it that over 2000 years ago, a Chinese cook created what is considered the precursor to today’s modern fireworks when he mixed a concoction of charcoal, sulphur and saltpeter. Whether by design or by accident, this moment in time is thought to be the impetus for centuries of refinement and enhancement to those bedazzling, sparkling, brilliant, and fun light shows seen the world over.
But do you know how fireworks became synonymous with our own 4th of July celebrations? Or that specific firework patterns actually have names?
Do You Know Your July 4th Firework Facts?
Wow. Who knew that the beginnings of today’s 4th of July fireworks festivities dates all the way back to 1776, when John Adams envisioned the use of fireworks, bells and bonfires to celebrate the impending birth of a nation! Did you also know that the first commemorative Independence Day fireworks show was in Philadelphia, on July 4th, 1777? Thirteen rockets were shot off at both the beginning and the end of the day’s festivities to symbolize the country’s newfound independence.
Did you also know that those different fireworks patterns you see lighting up your night, have specific names? Take note of the different styles, the colorful chemistry used to enhance their colors, and see how many you can identify at the next fireworks show you attend. Is that one a Peony? Or maybe it’s a Crossette!
Infographic shared via Pioneer Services.
Happy 4th of July!
Oh how so much has changed, yet remains the same, over the centuries. Though the fireworks of today are a far cry from the fireworks the United States’ founding fathers experienced or the Chinese cook concocted over 2000 years ago, they still celebrate special days, and still draw ooohs and awwws from crowds of onlookers.
Whether your July 4th celebration includes simple backyard fireworks, or queueing up for a nearby July 4th nighttime extravaganza, enjoy the festivities! Lastly, keep it safe! If your plans including handling fireworks of your own, make sure you know what you are doing, and keep the kids away!
Where will you be on July 4th? I know where I’ll be. Sitting on a very long flight home, returning from our family vacation in Italy. Though I’ve been incommunicado recently, no worries! I’ll be back next week with a whole slew of adventures to share.