The love for fireworks is a unifying thread in cultures around the globe. A number of nations, from rich to poor and big to small, honor integral areas of their heritage by celebrating with pyrotechnic items to lighting up the sky. There is no better way to mark an important day than by lighting the evening with beautiful bursts that surprise the crowd with color, noise and other special effects. The “oohs” and “ahhs” coming from the audience signify the amazement of all and create an environment for pleasing festival fireworks.
All around the planet, many countries ring in the New Year on December 31st with lots of pomp and circumstance. As the time ticks closer to midnight, aerial fireworks, fountains and large stage displays are queued up for festival fireworks to welcome in the momentous occasion with the biggest bang possible. Australia has one of the most viewed fireworks festivals in the world. In a time zone that makes them one of the very first to reach the New Year, millions of people see the impressive festival fireworks (thanks to TV) lighting up the Sydney harbor with the iconic Opera House in the foreground.
While the Chinese New Year doesn’t follow the western calendar, this ancient event, often called the Festival of Lights, is celebrated in January or February nearly everywhere there are significant Asian populations. The colorful dragon dance is a signature element of this fireworks festival and the smoke coming out of the beast’s nose is created with a smoke bomb, of course! Also, other festival fireworks such as firecrackers are lit to ward off bad spirits and help usher in a new year of great blessings.
In England, Guy Fawkes Day, recently known as Bonfire Night or Fireworks Night, began as a holiday of thanks for a bundled plot to assassinate King James I in the early 1600s. Today, while much of the political and religious undertones of this historical event have been lost, the evening is still punctuated with massive festival fireworks and roaring bonfires in towns across the country.
In India and places with Hindu populations, a festival of lights called Diwali is celebrated for five full days, falling anywhere from mid-October to mid-November. During these days of celebration, families and communities unite to light lamps symbolizing the triumph of good over evil and mark blessings with expensive clothes, jewelry sweet delicacies, parties and of course festival fireworks.
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