While many Americans enjoy the fireworks, which are described as "a class of low explosive pyrotechnic devices used for aesthetic and entertainment purposes,” there’s no better time than today to learn about where they come from and how they came to be.
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The earliest documentation of fireworks dates back to the 9th-century medieval Chinese Tang Dynasty, which is generally regarded as a high point in Chinese civilization and a golden age of cosmopolitan culture. Even back then, they were typically used to accompany many festivities. But pyrotechnicians had a different place in society than they do now, especially considering that the skill has since been largely normalized.
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Early on, pyrotechnicians were respected for their knowledge of the complex techniques that were required for the job. Above their impressive expertise, they were also highly regarded in terms of their direct connection to an art that Chinese people originally believed could expel evil spirits and bring about luck and happiness.
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Over the next century, fireworks became more commercially available, with many common people being able to purchase various kinds from market vendors. Outside of entertainment purposes, they were also once used in warfare. At one point, they were referred to by outsiders as “Chinese flowers.”
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By the 14th century, they ended up in Europe and grew more and more popular over the next several hundred years. By the 1830s, colored fireworks were invented and by the early 20th century the modern skyrocket types were created. Today, beyond the displays that accompany major holidays and sporting events, there are also lesser-known fireworks competitions regularly held at a number of places. Check out an amazing display below…