A bright display of firecrackers used for New Year celebrations. Hainan Island. PHOTO BY JOAN LEBOLD COHEN.
Fireworks have been used in China, the producer of 90 percent of the world’s fireworks, in various forms for at least two thousand years. In ancient times people would frighten away creatures (real or imaginary) by throwing bamboo on fires. Some historians say fireworks as we know them originated in 1723 with an edict by the new Yongzheng emperor