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World's Best Fireworks Displays

Updated on May 28, 2018

Nothing brings the ooohs and aaahs out of a crowd like a sky-lighting fireworks display. They are awesome, they are colorful, they are loud. Pyrotechnics are an enduring passion to some as they strive to perfect and enhance them. It is the art of fire, the craft of technique and the science of chemistry and physical phenomena. Pyrotechnics originated in China with the invention of black powder around the 1st century AD. Since then fireworks have become a well anticipated event for whole families and a lucrative business for others as well. Here are some exceptional fireworks displays from around the world.



Sydney, Australia considers itself the New Year's Eve capital of the world and it just might be. From the first burst of color at midnight to the grand finale, the skies of Sydney harbor are illuminated with majestic displays all to the delight of the 1.5 million spectators that attend. The twelve minute show has fireworks firing from several barges in the harbor, the awesome Sydney Harbour Bridge and from the rooftops of seven city skyscrapers. It's a show not to be missed. Using special microchip technology, Sydney's New Year's Eve display builds momentum to an unforgettable climax.



In Japan, it doesn't have to be a holiday to enjoy a great fireworks display. It is a summer long event culminating in a fireworks competition in August. Called hanabi by the locals, the Japanese consider fireworks as "flowers of fire". Japanese pyrotechnicians are some of the best in the world. They are skilled at creating state-of-the-art techniques that draw global attention. On the 4th Saturday in August, the Omagari National Fireworks Competition draws up to a million spectators. It is the ultimate in technique and tradition.


The great city of Montreal hosts the International des Feux Loto-Quebec fireworks competition each year at Quebec's La Ronde amusement park. This spectacular event which draws up to three million people incorporates musical score in conjunction with the thunder of the fire. Pyrotechnicians in Montreal are regarded as artists and fireworks usuall play an important role in any celebration. Other Canadian cities are renowned for their fireworks as well. Vancouver's prestigious "Celebration Of Light" attracts some of the world's best fireworks designers and is considered a musical pyrotechnics extravaganza.


In America, Independence Day celebrations mean fireworks. There is no better place to watch them than at the Boston Harbor. For over thirty years, the Boston Pops Orchestra plays on the fourth of July and has continued the tradition of performing the 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky at the climax of the fireworks display. Folks line both sides of the Charles River to witness the event. Other American cities have their own unique traditions. From the skyline of New York and Washington DC to the quiet beauty of Addison, Texas and Lake Tahoe, fireworks light the sky in celebration.


What better backdrop for a fireworks display than the domes, spires and bell towers of Venice. The Festa del Redentore combines a religious holiday with a spectacular celebration in the delightful setting of St. Mark's Basin. Small boats decorated with balloons and colorful lanterns line up beside each other in the bay. In the envious Italian tradition, great feasts are prepared and enjoyed while waiting for the fireworks show. Thousands flock there to participate each year in a tradition that dates back to 1577.


The purpose of the fireworks celebration in Pohang is to bring joy to the people. Pohang is known as the "City of LIght and Fire" and locals intend to retain its tradition and meaning. It is the first place the sun rises in the Korean Peninsula and the heart of the country's science and technology industries. For that reason, it sponsors the POSCO International Fireworks Festival which drawsmillions of people each year. Their artistic music displays are themed and composed of four movements in what is called the "Symphony of Light".


One of London's flagship fireworks displays takes place at the picturesque site of Battersea Park. This first-rate fireworks display brings bundled up young and old every November to remember Guy Fawkes and witness the stunning pyrotechnics and huge bonfire. The bar is open and the food is plentiful. With a riverside setting, hoops of multicolored lights illuminate the sky and there are always some surprises. Of course Battersea Park isn't the only venue. Bonfire night is celebrated all over the UK and there is much fun to be had.


It's Copacabana and they know how to party. Over two million people hit the beach each New Year's Eve for the festivities. Tradition mandates that everyone wears white, brings flowers to later toss in the sea, and pop the cork on a bottle of champagne - spraying is expected. The fireworks start at midnight to bring in the new year. The launching points are situated on barges, a safe distance from the beach and the eager crowds. Fireworks displays there are well known for their magnificent cascades.


Since 80 percent of the world's fireworks are produced by Chinese pyrotechnic manufacturers, it makes sense that the Shanghai International Music Fireworks Festival is grand. The Chinese believe fireworks can get rid of bad luck. Hosted in Century Park, the festival brings pyrotechnic teams from around the world who vie to create the most exotic displays. The fireworks are accompanied by traditional Chinese music. The most fabulous display is selected by expert judges and presented to the spectators who wait in anticipation.

These are just a sampling of the fireworks spectaculars celebrated around the world. Each city has its own unique tradition and style.

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