Over the last couple of years, you might have heard more and more reasons why fireworks should be banned. In this blog, we will dive into the reasons why fireworks should not be banned. We will tell you about the tradition, and with why we should not ban them!
One of the oldest traditions
Fireworks are one of the longest-standing historical traditions celebrated globally. Many historians believe fireworks were developed as early as the second century B.C. in ancient Liuyang, China. Starting off with throwing bamboo in fires, overheating hollow air pockets, to ward off evil spirits then progressing into a Chinese alchemist mixing three chemicals, in hope that this would offer eternal life; saltpetre, sulphur and charcoal which combined makes a very raw version of gunpowder. Once the alchemist realised that this mixture would not help them live forever, this mixture was filled into paper tubes with fuses and ‘hey presto’ a firecracker!
Celebrations with fireworks
The Chinese alone use fireworks to celebrate the most important events in their lives, a birth, a wedding, a death, coronations, festivals, and new year celebrations. Fireworks are a fundamental part of Chinese culture.
Moving across to Europe, fireworks were first used to celebrate military victories, then public celebrations, and religious ceremonies before the crucial yearly commemoration of ‘The Gunpowder Plot’ where in 1605 a group of conspirators were caught trying to blow up the houses of Parliament in England. Every year thereafter has been the British tradition of celebrating ‘Guy Fawkes Day’ on 5th November.
The old story is best told in an Old English rhyme; ‘Remember, Remember the Fifth of November – Gunpowder treason and plot – I see no reason why gunpowder treason – Should ever be forgot – Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, ‘twas his intent – To blow up the King and the Parliament – Three score barrels of powder below – Poor old England to overthrow – By God’s providence he was catch’d – with a dark lantern and burning match – Holler boys, holler boys, let the bells ring – Holler boys, holler boys, God save the King!’
The first firework display in American colonies was in Jamestown, Virginia in 1608. Fireworks were used here to celebrate special events and were used in the very first 4th July celebrations in 1776. Americans continue to use fireworks for yearly celebrations such as national holidays, sporting events but the most important is American Independence Day on 4th July.
The Japanese have celebrated their historic heritage through fireworks since 18th Century where there will be festivals, fireworks are sold on the streets, crowds dress up and cities compete for the best firework displays.
Diwali is celebrated through fireworks; ‘The Festival of Lights’ is celebrated in Indian communities across the word. The idea is to encompass the sky with light, colour and explosions. Diwali usually occurs in October or November which often ties in with Guy Fawkes celebrations across the UK.
Those of Muslim religion celebrate Eid Al Adha, the end of Ramadan, worldwide with massive spectacular firework displays!
And ofcourse across the world, we all celebrate in the New Year with fireworks at whatever time that falls. Our televisions light up with displays from all the capitals, each trying to outdo the other and at midnight through lockdown we would all switch on the television to see in the spectacular Big Ben, London Eye, Thames River firework display after being counted into what we hoped was a better year than the last.
Fireworks should not be banned
Ultimately, fireworks should not be banned because they are used for so much celebrations in our culture and many others. As part of a multi-cultural society, we would be tearing away our history in removing fireworks from society and preventing fun, enjoyment, and celebration from so many people’s lives. In a world where we are still uncertain and have lived through what is coming up for the most difficult two years for us all in a global pandemic, we need to keep these pleasures not remove them.