Where Exactly Were Fireworks Discovered?
We all know that fireworks are used in celebrations all over the world, but did you know that fireworks were first discovered in ancient China? There are two conflicting accounts of how fireworks were first discovered.
First, is that a Chinese cook accidentally mixed three cooking ingredients together: sulphur, charcoal, and saltpetre. These ingredients were mixed together to create a really loud explosion. The second is that ancient Chinese Daoists discovered fireworks in their search for eternal life.
You might be wondering what this all means, so let’s dig in!
Daoism, pronounced (Dow-is-em) is a form of Chinese alchemy, pretty cool hey! Fireworks could have been discovered by these alchemists in search for what was essentially a potion for eternal life. Ancient Chinese emperors of the Han Dynasty asked these Daoists to discover a way for them to live forever. As you may have guessed, a potion for eternal life was not made, but instead, the beginning of something that would change the way cultures celebrate all over the world. The Chinese have been perfecting the art of pyrotechnics for thousands of years and will for many to come. China will be showing at GlobalFest 2019 to celebrate Chinese culture, and represent their country.
The Conventional Use of Fireworks
Fireworks started to become commonplace in ancient China during the rule of the Song Dynasty. The “common people” could purchase fireworks from their regular old market. Times and fireworks have changed so much, and now we have some amazing shells available to us for events like GlobalFest.
Who do you think is the largest consumer of fireworks in the world?
It’s Disneyland! They use more fireworks than anyone else by dazzling their visitors with illuminated shows EVERY night of the year. They also popularized the use of fireworks that are launched with compressed air instead of gunpowder, resulting in fewer fumes and more precision.
GlobalFest aka the most EXPLOSIVE festival in Alberta, is a not-for-profit society that celebrates culture and the art of pyrotechnics. The idea of GlobalFest came about in 1993 and the festival was born 10 years later! The festival showcases pyro artists, celebrates culture, and community, an ideal spot for firework enthusiasts. The festival is filled with engaging cultural pavilions, tasty food trucks and enough explosions to fulfill all of your pyro needs!
The Unconventional Use of Fireworks
Most of us are familiar with the huge amount of fireworks used for national holidays like Canada Day, New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July, but we bet you didn’t know about some of these unique days that some countries and regions celebrate with a bang.
For example, British Columbia, particularly Vancouver, celebrates Halloween with fireworks and is the only province in Canada that does. Some say that it’s an influence of England’s Guy Fawkes Day, also known as Bonfire Night, or Firework Night. Guy Fawkes Day is a celebration on the 5th of November, that commemorates the same day in 1605 London, when a failed attempt to blow up the House of Lords did not kill King James I.
You may have heard the saying, ‘Remember, Remember, the 5th of November’ from the movie V for Vendetta.
Fireworks are also quite frequently used in the beautiful country of Malta, (just south of Italy) and have been common for hundreds of years. When the Maltese were ruled by the Order of St John, fireworks were used to celebrate the birthplace of a prince, or an appointment of a new Pope, real royalty stuff! Today, the Maltese display fireworks throughout their summer feasts, and also have The Malta International Firework Festival home of the LARGEST firework ever shot. In France, the French use fireworks on Bastille Day to pay tribute to the French revolution. If you’re in Paris on July 14th, you may come across a truly spectacular display of fireworks surrounding the Eiffel Tower.