fireworks history

Many occasions and celebrations love including a fireworks show in their programs. A flurry of various hues explodes when the New Year Bell rings in. While marvelling at the site, have you ever wondered where fireworks originated from?

There are various tales and legends of how fireworks came to be. Some say they were made to frighten any evil spirits that lingered in a village. Others thought they would be able to bring about immortality and good fortune when exploded.

If you want to know how fireworks were invented, here’s a little reality check:


Most brilliant inventions are made by accident, and fireworks are no exception. History says fireworks were first made in China. The Chinese would take bamboo stalks and toss them into a fire. The bamboo would emanate the same exploding effect a firework would make. 

As the Chinese hadn’t really figured what they discovered yet, this is merely cited as the first occurrence of pyrotechnics. Some records would argue that the Indians or Arabians had created fireworks, though.


A few years down the road, a Chinese alchemist created a mixture of potassium nitrate, sulfur and charcoal. The mix had produced gunpowder, pure black flakes. This was officially dubbed the first human-made fireworks. 

Fireworks made their debut around the world during this time period. They were used in Europe for gatherings and feasts involving religion. Italy became the pioneer manufacturer of fireworks in Europe.

Deadly Firecrackers

The Chinese had curated practical ways of using their inventions, such as giving their military an advantage. Instead of bamboo, wood was used to encase the gunpowder and defend their land from attackers. Several movies and shows have depicted these firecrackers to be dragon-shaped rockets. 

Arabs called the firecrackers ‘Chinese arrows’ during their encounters. Scouts who also had their experience with the rockets would take their intel back home in hopes of using it to their advantage. Cannons and other weapons were being developed simultaneously as the war was brewing.

Contemporary Fireworks

Post-war, fireworks were developed for commercial and entertainment purposes instead. The aforementioned mixture that produced gunpowder was still incorporated into designs, but innovations and chemicals were used. Disneyland California had used compressed air in 2004 rather than gunpowder, resulting in less smoke and air fumes.

Another milestone that changed up fireworks was the various hues added to it. Fireworks usually sparked just an orange colour, but companies wanted to create their own spin on it. When you observe fireworks, you can now see pinks, blues and greens. Some are also strategic in setting off fireworks, creating patterns and designs in the skies. 

Firework shows went a long way from just exploding in the sky. There’s now colour coordination and music played in conjunction with the fireworks, creating a magical experience for young kids and children at heart.


Although fireworks didn’t bring about good luck or create enchantments, it’s still impressive for humankind to make a mark in the sky. It can be limitless to innovate things and come up with new creations that will wow other people.

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