Chinese Language Blog

Fireworks 烟火 (yàn huǒ) Posted by on Jul 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

Fireworks or 烟火 (yàn huǒ) are a Chinese invention and are synonymous with celebrations in Chinese culture. The earliest documentation of fireworks dates back to 7th century China where they were first used to frighten away evil spirits with their loud sound (鞭炮/鞭砲 biān pào) and to pray for happiness and prosperity. For any big holiday in China, fireworks are the entertainment of the night–and China takes them very seriously. Just watch the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics:

Thankfully, the concept of using celebratory fireworks spread from China to the rest of the world and has become commonplace in celebrating  all sorts of events: From New Years Eve festivities worldwide to national holidays like Independence day (4th of July in the US). Just look at Dubai’s Burj Khalifa building, the tallest building in the world. This colossal sky-scraper actually shots fireworks out and down from its glass facade last night:

Happy 4th of July to my fellow 美国人!

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About the Author: Stephen

Writer and blogger for all things China related. Follow me on twitter: @seeitbelieveit -- My Background: Fluent Mandarin speaker with 3+ years working, living, studying and teaching throughout the mainland. Student of Kung Fu and avid photographer and documentarian.

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