Most people know what the celebration of bonfire night is for, but not many people actually know where fireworks came from.
Picture this scene.. It all started 2,000 years ago, in China, with a Chinese cook. It is thought that the Chinese cook accidentally mixed three kitchen ingredients together, which were heated over a fire and dried to give a black flaky powder and when burnt it gave a loud bang.
From there the Chinese named this black powder “huo yao” (fire chemical) and developed it further till it eventually it became the fireworks we see today!
Originally the only colours that could be used were yellows and oranges until the 19th Century when reds, greens and blues were introduced into the night sky.
Before long, the knowledge of fireworks began to spread to the west. It is believed that Marco Polo on one of his many trips to China transported this invention to the Middle East where European Crusaders brought it to England.
Fireworks are now used for a number of annual celebrations as well as our traditional Guy Fawkes night. One of which is Diwali, the festival of light in India. This Hindu event celebrates the triumph of good over evil where they pray to their God Rama who defeated his enemy Ravana.
Another popular event in which fireworks are used is the American Independence Day. They were used at the very first Independence Day in 1777, which is six years before Americans knew they would actually win the war of Independence. In 1789, when George Washington was first made president, fireworks were used to celebrate this momentous occasion.
Although fireworks are used for joyous events, they come with a safety risk. There have been many cases where misuse of fireworks have caused injury and in some cases fatalities.
Here is a video of a market place in Mexico. This is an example of where one person did not follow the fireworks safety regulations. This caused devastation among hundreds of people and used several hours of the emergency services time:
So when you are out this bonfire night enjoy yourselves but be aware of the dangers that fireworks can potentially cause and remember the thousands of years of work that has gone into making them the spectacle they are today!