The first fireworks
were probably made in China, around 2,000 years ago. Chinese
crackers, as they are known, are still used in China today to
celebrate weddings, births and religious festivals - and to scare
away evil spirits!
Fireworks were used
for centuries in ancient Indian and Thai religious ceremonies.
Some of the rockets were 8-10 feet long and were attached to
bamboo sticks that were 40 feet high.
The first recorded
fireworks in England were at the wedding of King Henry VII in 1486.
They gained popularity during the reign of Henry VIII and by
Elizabethan times (1558-1603) there was a fireworks master. Queen
Elizabeth I created this post so that someone would be in charge
of organising firework displays for great occasions. James II
even knighted his fireworks master after a particularly excellent
show of fireworks at his coronation.
- The word for firework in Japanese, 'hanabi', means 'fire-flower'.
- Half of all firework accidents happen to children under the age of 16.
- The first fireworks recorded in America were set off by an Englishman, Captain John Smith, famous in the story of Pocahontas.
- Three sparklers
burning together generate the same heat as a blow-torch.
- The world's
largest single firework was set off at a festival in Japan in
1988. The shell weighed over half a tonne and the burst was over
a kilometre across.
- Throwing a firework
in a street or public place is a criminal offence, with a maximum
fine of 5000 pounds.
Fireworks can be great fun. Unfortunately, every year, people get hurt because they fool around with fireworks. Last year over 900 people required hospital treatment from accidents involving fireworks.
Make sure youre not one of them by following these few simple rules.
Never play with fireworks - They are explosives and can hurt you.
Only adults should light or hold fireworks.
When you are watching fireworks stand well back.
Never go near a firework that has been lit. Even if it hasnt gone off, it could still explode.
Fireworks will frighten your pets, so keep your petsa safely indoors.
If you are given a sparkler:
Always wear gloves. Hold it at arms length. When your sparkler goes out, DONT TOUCH IT. It could still burn you, so put it in a bucket of water.