Fireworks

Happy Fourth of July everyone!!!

I was watching the fireworks at a friend’s house, which was really nice because I’d heard that they cancelled the fireworks at the Navy Pier to help save money. I guess it’s understandable, and fireworks are dangerous and add to air and noise pollution, but it’s nice to see bright coloured lights join the stars in the sky, even if it’s for one night out of the entire year.

Fireworks

There are actually many fun facts about fireworks. Like, they’re derived from gunpowder, which means they were invented by the Chinese way back in the 7th century. They were historically used to scare away evil spirits, but slowly became a form of entertainment for royalty, then rich people, then even normal citizens could enjoy them at celebrations and feasts.

Another firework fact is that different colours and effects are produced by burning different metal compounds, e.g. to get green you burn barium, for yellow, sodium, and for purple, caesium. Magnesium and aluminium both burn white, but the former provides bright white sparks while the latter is more stable and can produce both flames and sparks of white light. I should memorise the list, just so I can impress my friends. And complete strangers too.

The finale is always the same – setting off a bunch of fireworks until your eyes burn and the blood in your ears and heart are pounding in time with the loud drumming of popping fireworks. I spotted many different shapes of fireworks used, like the ring, the heart, the peony…many different effects. Again, another list to memorise. But when it was all over and done with, I felt a bit sad, not because it was over, but because even though fireworks are pretty amazing, they can only last for so long before burning out. Whereas the stars in the sky may only be a tiny light, but they keep burning, and their light continues to reach the earth, even after they’ve burned out. But I guess that’s okay, because it’s the things in life that don’t last for very long that we tend to admire and appreciate more. And I bet everyone who watched the fireworks today all applauded at the end of the show, not for the stars, but for the beauty of the fireworks.

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