For centuries, fireworks have been marking the spectacular moments in our lives and in history.  Most commonly associated with the Fourth of July fireworks are an extravagant form of celebration. The invention of the firework has been credited to the Chinese during the Sung Dynasty (960-1279). The legend claims that a chef found that a mixture of sulfur, saltpeter, and charcoal was very flammable and would explode within a small space. Later a Chinese monk named Li Tian created today what we know as fireworks.  According to the article “History of Fireworks,” “These firecrackers were bamboo shoots filled with gunpowder. They were exploded at the commencement of the New Year to scare away evil spirits. Much of the modern focus of fireworks is on light and color, but loud noise was desirable in a religious firework, since that was what frightened the spirits.” These fireworks eventually made it to the United States, where almost hundreds of variations have been created.

As mentioned fireworks come in all shapes and sizes but not all fire works are allowed in certain areas. Make sure you do your research on which you are allowed to shoot off in you area; making sure you have plenty of wide open space. Really make sure you do your research first.  So here’s the tough question which do you choose?  Well here are a few that might spark your interest:

I. Firecrackers- these are the most basic types of fireworks. In appearance they are cylinders filled with gunpowder. You light a fuse and stand back, and they explode. You can buy them individually, in small packs, in large bricks, or in long strings. These are the truest form of fireworks first created by the Chinese.

II. Rockets- Like firecrackers they are cylinders filled with gunpowder, except they are still tied to a stick that shoot into the air after lit. The most commonly known rocket is the bottle rocket. They shoot into the air and explode, or whistle and explode. Some have explosions of color without lots of noise like crackling and others just shoot up color.

III. Fountains- These are the ones children most enjoy, they send out a shower of colorful sparks with very little noise. They come in all different sizes and colors. The bigger the package they come in the longer it will last and higher in the sky it will go. Another type of fountains are the ones that don’t leave the ground, they simply emit sparks upward. They are a great way to kick up your firework display

IV. Artillery- These fire works are in a reloadable tube with any number and variety of launchable of shells. According to the article “Different Types of Fireworks and How to Tell Them Apart Before You Light the Fuse,” “To use artillery, you must load the shell into the tube with the wick hanging out, then light the wick and get away. They usually will shoot higher with better effects. The tubes vary in size, and generally the bigger the tube is, the higher the shells will go. The shells almost always explode with color and a bang.”

V.  Cakes-“Bigger cakes work well as a grand finale while smaller cakes can be used to build anticipation or provide shorter, self-contained shows. Square and rectangular cakes shoot straight up while fan-shaped cakes provide slightly greater sky coverage. The two things to look for with cakes are weight and number of shots. Generally, the heavier a cake the more powder/shells it holds and the bigger and better the show. More shots in a cake means you’ll get a longer show while less shots means you’ll get a short, but very intense show” (“Different Types of Fireworks and How to Tell Them Apart Before You Light the Fuse”).

 There are also smaller smokes, lights, and sparks in the firework family.  Roman Candles are single tubes that shoot out a single flair. There are novelties which are shaped like a car or boat and move across the ground as right before they pop. Poppers and snaps are relatively safe and are sold all throughout the year in party stores. Then there are smoke balls that once lit, simply emit colored smoke. Sparklers are tiny hand held fountains that give off colored sparks from the burning tip.  They are the only firework meant to be held. Just remember proper safety measures should be taken at all times after you have chosen which fireworks to use. Keep children a safe distance away and make sure you safely light the fireworks.