It is common knowledge that Asia is the ancestral home of fireworks. Throughout the region, these fabulous displays of light, colour and sound have been an integral part of culture, tradition and religion for hundreds, even thousands of years. With New Year’s Eve fast approaching, Buffalo Tours brings you this list of 15 amazing facts about fireworks in Asia.
- The earliest documentation for fireworks dates back to the Tang Dynasty. Over 1000 years later, China is still the biggest producer of fireworks in the world.
- Fireworks often had religious importance and were believed to bring good luck and expel evil spirits.
- The predecessor for fireworks were merely bamboo stalks which, when thrown on a fire, produced a large banging noise.
- Primitive bamboo fireworks were used to scare away wild animals and intruders. Later they were filled with explosive powder and became the prototype for modern fireworks.
- It is claimed that the recipe for gunpowder was discovered accidently by Chinese alchemists who were searching for the elixir of life.
- In Japan, fireworks are called Hanabi, which directly translates as “fire flowers”. Fireworks were also described as “Chinese flowers” by some early Arabian scholars.
- Although they were a very important part of weddings, traditional festivals, and religious events, fireworks have been completely banned in Vietnam since 1994 and are only used at official government sanctioned events.
- Loi Krathong is a festival of light in Thailand and is traditionally celebrated by floating candles in streams and lakes in a very solemn ceremony. However, in recent years fireworks have become a very popular way of celebrating this religious festival.
- The Hindu festival of lights, known as Diwali, is usually celebrated with spectacular displays of fireworks. This festival is celebrated in India and among Hindu communities throughout Southeast Asia, particularly in Singapore and Malaysia.
- In many East Asian countries, fireworks are used to celebrate a multitude of different occasions, such as Chinese New Year, Western New Year, as well as National Days. Fireworks are also frequently associated with weddings, childbirths and even funerals.
- The largest firework ever launched, has a diameter of 120 cm and weighs 460 kg. It is launched every year during the 400-year-old Katakai Fireworks Festival in Japan.
- Japan also holds the record for most sparklers ever lit simultaneously at a single venue (1,414!).
- The single largest fireworks display was held in the Philippines on January 1st 2016. It consisted of 810.904 individual fireworks and lasted for 1 hour 1 minute and 32.35 seconds.
- The Philippines also holds the world record for most fireworks launched in 30 seconds (125,801!).
- A string of firecrackers was lit during the Hong Kong Chinese New Year’s celebration of 1996, and was so long that it lasted over 22 hours!
We hope you enjoyed these 15 facts about fireworks in Asia. On behalf of everyone at Buffalo Tours, we would like to wish you a very Happy New Year! We hope that your coming year is full of excitement, adventure and travel!