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Fireworks are explosive devices that burn with colored flames and sparks. Fireworks are used in pyrotechnic exhibitions and displays.

These devices are used in producing one or more loud bangs or striking displays of light, or a figure or figures in plain or colored fire, by the combustion of materials that burn in some peculiar manner, as gunpowder, sulfur, metallic filings, and various salts. The most common feature of fireworks is a paper or pasteboard tube filled with the combustible material. A number of these tubes or cases are often combined so as to make, when kindled, a great variety of sparkling shapes, often variously colored. The skyrocket is a common form of firework. The name is also given to various combustible preparations used in war.

Improper use of fireworks may be dangerous, both to the person operating them (risks of burns and wounds) and to bystanders; in addition, they may start a fire if landing on flammable material. For this reason, the use of fireworks is generally legally restricted. In some jurisdictions, their use is restricted to professionals; in some others, some smaller models can be used by the general public, while the others may only be operated by professionals. Also, in general, firing them near houses or in fire hazards areas is prohibited.

Table of contents
1 Home fireworks in Britain (Guy Fawkes Night)
2 Home fireworks in the United States (Independence Day)
3 History of fireworks
4 External links

Home fireworks in Britain (Guy Fawkes Night)

In 1605 Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators attempted to blow-up the British Parliament with 36 barrels of gunpowder in the cellars of Westminster Hall. On November 5th, Fawkes was arrested and Parliament was saved. The British people have celebrated on the night of November 5th ever since by filling the sky with exploding fireworks, by burning an effigy of Guy Fawkes on a bonfire. In more recent times legislation has controlled the way in which fireworks can be used. There have been many injuries caused by improper use and many household pets scared out of their wits. There is a movement to ban home use of fireworks all together and, perhaps, replace the November 5th celebration with an American-style Halloween.

Home fireworks in the United States (Independence Day)

' Independence Day celebrations. These are going off over the Washington Monument.]]

Each year before the American Independence Day, the Fourth of July, retail fireworks stands spring up around the nation in states that don't severely restrict or outright ban all fireworks for safety reasons (such as California, for example). Popular types of legal use-at-home fireworks include:

Note that South Carolina sells slightly more explosive fireworks in addition to these popular types; these are usually referred to as "firecrackers". Interestingly, South Carolina also sells fireworks at stands year-round.

In the U.S., Native American tribes that have reservation lands often sell firecrackers that are not legal for sale outside of its reservation. These include, but are not limited to:

Note that actual ownership or sale of true cherry bombs, M-80 style salutes, or any firecracker in excess of 50 milligrams of powder is a violation of federal law (1966 Child Protection Act). Native Americans, like any other U.S. citizen, are not exempt from federal law. However, 50 mg of powder is likely more than is used even in the most powerful firecrackers.

Licensing for firework sellers has just been introduced in the United Kingdom due to their common misuse by children. Fireworks are now only to be sold around November 5 and New Year. Fireworks can only been sold to those aged 18 and over.

History of fireworks

In the Han Dynasty (206220 BC) firecrackers were made by roasting bamboo to produce the loud sound (known as "bian pao") that was intended to frighten evil spirits. In the Northern and Southern Dynasties (AD 420581) the firecrackers were used not only used to dispel evil but also to pray for happiness and prosperity.

The discovery of gunpowder and the invention of the first true fireworks are traditionally credited to the Chinese, although India is also a likely source. Some scholars believe fireworks were developed in the Sui and Tang Dynasties (581907), but others believe there were no fireworks until the Northern Song Dynasty (10th century).

Since then, any event -- a birth, death, wedding, coronation, or New Year's celebration — has become a fitting occasion for noisemakers.

Musick for the Royal Fireworks, was composed by George Frideric Handel in 1749 to celebrate the peace of Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, which had been declared the previous year.

America's earliest settlers brought their enthusiasm for fireworks to the United States. Fireworks and black powder were used to celebrate important events long before the American Revolutionary War. The very first celebrations of Independence Day were in 1777, six years before Americans knew whether the new nation would survive the war; fireworks were a part of those festivities. In 1789, George Washington's inauguration was also accompanied by a fireworks display. This early fascination with their noise and color continues today.

External links

Fireworks is also the American title for the Japanese movie Hanabi .