Before you know it, 4 July will be here. You know what that means. That’s right, we will be lighting up the night sky with loud bangs, booms, and pops. To that end, we thought you might like a few little-known firework facts to toss out at your 4th of July gathering. Impress your friends and family with this list. Some of these might even surprise you!
1. 90% of the worlds fireworks come from China. They are not only the largest exporter, they are also the world’s largest manufacturer as well. There is a reason for this. Number two explains it a bit further.
2. Fireworks are old. The earliest writing we have concerning fireworks dates all the way back to China in the seventh century. That means we have been blowing up the sky for more than two thousand years!
3. They could earn you a royal title in England. That’s right, Queen Elizabeth was enamored with fireworks to the point that she created the title, “Fire Master of England.” If you got that honorary moniker, it meant that you had created the most impressive fireworks display in all the land. How would you like to add that to your resume?
4. Hong Kong LOVES firecrackers. In 1996, they set off a strand that went snap, crackle, and pop for 22 hours! It may have set a record, but I’m pretty sure your neighborhood association would have something to say about a nonstop firecracker display that lasts almost a full day. I would at least run it by them before you attempt it.
5. You can make pictures with sparklers. It’s actually pretty easy to do. Simply set your camera to record using a long exposure. Then, after making sure your setting is totally dark, wave your sparkler around to draw a pretty neat light picture.
6. Blue is the hardest color to make. Up until the Middle Ages, the only firework colors were orange and white. After that, new colors were created by adding different types of salt. As it happens, the hardest chemical combination to put together, in order to achieve that vibrant blue color, is quite difficult. The next time you set off a blue one, remember that somebody had to really work hard to prevent it from showing as red or green instead.
7. Disney World is the largest consumer of fireworks in the United States. This is due to the fact that they set off displays every night over Cinderella’s Castle, in the Magic Kingdom. You have to wonder how Mickey and the gang get any sleep with all that noise every night.
8. Fireworks are composed of three basic ingredients. In the early days, sulfur, saltpeter, and charcoal were the only three ingredients used to make colorful displays. Since then, other chemicals have been added to create different colors, and also, different noises.
So there you have it. Eight fun facts for you to toss out at cocktail parties and barbecues. Use them to school your guests on the history of fireworks, or simply take it as a lesson in History and Trivia. Either way, you know more now than you did at the top of this post!