Be In the Know

Be In the Know. Sign up to have DesignDestinations delivered right to your inbox, weekly.

Another July 4th rolls around

Fireworks

Another July 4th rolls around. Facebook and Instagram are filled with folks celebrating the “kick off the summer weekend” with photos of themselves wearing red, white and blue, silly hats and all kinds of corny stuff. All in good fun.

Living in a country with freedoms like ours is worth celebrating.

Sunsets, boat rides, parades and, of course, dazzling displays of fireworks mark this uniquely US holiday.

fireworks

Fireworks have been around for a long time…..in fact, they were invented by the Chinese 2000 years ago. The legend is that they were created by accident by a Chinese cook working in a field kitchen who happened to mix charcoal, sulphur and saltpeter. The mixture burned and when compressed in an enclosure (bamboo tube) the mixture exploded.

Other stories and dates abound about the discovery…..

Interestingly, fireworks were thought to have the power to fend off evil spirits and ghosts that were frightened by the loud bangs.

Several stories exist about how the noisy invention got to Europe. Marco Polo? Crusaders? Somewhere after 1200, spectacular displays in Rome, Italy, Germany and England appeared. Fireworks actually highlighted the coronation of Anne Boleyn with dramatic displays shot off from barges on the Thames to light up the sky.

Fireworks come to the United States

In the US, it is believed that John Adams started the trend when he wrote to his wife that Independence Day should be celebrated with “bonfires and illuminations,” the word for fireworks at the time.

We enjoy them at all kinds of festivities—weddings, sporting events, New Year’s Eve and parties. I was interested to read that “fireworks were the purest form of abstract art.” That’s a thought.

fireworks
Fireworks–purest form of abstract art?

And while spectacular and dramatic, they are terrifying to pets with their sensitive hearing. Our little Izzy spends the firework season trembling and cowering, clinging to me like a small baby.

Interestingly, the people of the village of Collecchio  in Italy have introduced legislation forcing citizens to use silent fireworks as a way of respecting the animals and reducing the stress caused them.

When I’m not cuddling and comforting my canine friend,  I’m intrigued with the idea of capturing fireworks on my camera. Maybe this year I’ll search google for instructions, set up the tripod and have a go at it. Until I do that here are some images I have captured in years past of a fireworks with simple point and shoot method.

Fireworks on Lake Michigan
Fireworks on Lake Michigan
Fireworks in Hong Kong
Fireworks in Hong Kong
Fireworks in Saugatuck
Fireworks in Saugatuck
fireworks
Fireworks as Abstract Art?
fireworks
Fireworks as Abstract Art?
Fireworks
Fireworks
fireworks
Love the reflections of fireworks on the water

FYI: A company called Setti Fireworks makes silent fireworks.

Fireworks in Saugatuck
Fireworks in Saugatuck

Would love suggestions for capturing the best Fireworks photos in the comment section of this blog.  Thank you.

Post Author
Susan J. Smith
Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.

Leave a Reply