18 May Things That Go “Bang-Pop-Sizzle” In The Night!
Things That Go “Bang-Pop-Sizzle” In The Night! Nearly everyone has some sort of “phobia” – a fear that triggers the adrenaline and the instinctual fight-or-flight response. Let’s face it, legendary Hollywood empires have been built on finding those “panic buttons”… and then pushing them on command! But, this is nothing new. For millennia humans have universally harbored fears over “things that go bump in the night!”
And “night” is a key component dating back to the ancients. Whatever seasonal or religious period a culture may have been going through, their rituals were ALL designed to bring them out of whatever “darkness” they either had endured or were about to begin, and deliver them into the LIGHT!
Enter the birth of fireworks – the perfect antidote to overcome those deep, dark forces that may be lurking in the recesses of their lives.
China is widely recognized as the birthplace of fireworks, which occurred sometime during the second century B.C. in Liuyang, located in the Hunan Province. It appears the first natural “firecrackers” were bamboo stalks that, when thrown in a fire, would explode with a bang because the hollow air pockets in the bamboo would overheat and explode. The Chinese believed these natural “firecrackers” would ward off evil spirits.
Sometime during the period 600-900 AD, history suggests a Chinese alchemist mixed potassium nitrate, sulfur and charcoal to produce a black, flaky powder – the first “gunpowder.” In the beginning, they poured this powder into hallow bamboo sticks (later replaced by stiff paper tubes), to form the first man-made fireworks. Even today, China is still known as “The World’s Capital of Fireworks,” and said to be the largest manufacturer and exporter of fireworks in the world!
At this point, many believe Marco Polo brought these pyrotechnics westward, although scholars differ on the exact “who-where-when” of the spread of fireworks. That said, the Hindu Festival of Light – Diwali – dates back over 2500 years, and seems tailor-made for fireworks.
As India’s biggest and most popular holiday of the year, it symbolizes the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good or evil, and knowledge over ignorance. And that brings us right back to the “dark vs. light” premise!
Naturally, the French quickly saw how pairing these sparkling novelties with their OWN sparkling champagne could truly take the celebratory spirit to the NEXT level! And this provided the perfect accompaniment to New Year festivities designed to dispel those “dark” days of winter and offer hope for the spring renewal to come.
However, as inventive as this may have been, Italy can be given sole credit for our modern idea of fireworks. As the inventors of the aerial shell – and also the first to figure out how to add colors – Italian pyrotechnicians created the ice-cream-cone-shaped shells basically still used today!
Of course, as we gained more knowledge – not only of fireworks, but also of the previously-unexplainable phenomena – we abandoned a lot of the superstitions that gave birth to fireworks, yet CONTINUED to enjoy the celebratory flair fireworks added to any victory or occasion! And now, fireworks have become synonymous with virtually ANY celebration.
Personal or professional victories, major life moments, noteworthy milestones and accomplishments, ALL call for celebratory pyrotechnics! And, we stand ready to help you mark those occasions by adding just the right amount of “pop and sizzle”… just give us a call or drop us an email and we’ll make your festive vision a reality.
So even though we may be going through a “dark” period right now, we DO know we WILL emerge from this bleak time. But in the meantime, we CAN take a page from fireworks history by adding some “sparkling light” to our lives, to make it just a little bit better!