Fireworks in Ancient China

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FC: Fireworks!

1: Now a days people use fireworks for everything, new years day, 4th of July etc., but have we really noticed how where they made? Where did they come from who did it? I have been studying how the Ancient Chinese invented fireworks and firecrackers what do they use them for how did they launch and how were they invented all those types of questions are going to be answered on my essay. So let us take a journey back a few thousand years ago in Ancient china.

2: Fireworks had been invented by mistake when one of the Chinese cooks was accidentally working in the kitchen who started to mix charcoal, sulphur and saltpeter (all if that was usually found in the kitchen those days) the mixture burned Firecrackers, which were made out of gun powder, are lid on special events especially in New Years Eve to get evil spirits away. New years is held on the first day of the first lunar month. | Setting of firecrackers to the start of the New Year’s is linked to an ancient Chinese legend about a beast that lived inside a mountain, and at the end of each year, it would come out to kill people. Since people knew the beast was afraid of noise, people started lighting up firecrackers which were made because gunpowder makes a lot of noise when it is exploded. Cannon balls which were sort of like firecrackers were used for wars also they lit them up and threw them at their enemies. Firecrackers were also used spring festivals and other important events too for example in births and deaths. They were made in the tenth century, which then it was used for shooting it up to the sky to explode and make colorful designs. After making the thunder bolt (explained on paragraph 2) in around 905 A.D. a gun was produced. Archaeologist found a bronze gun more than one foot long; they must have obviously used it for war against all of the enemies that were attacking china at that time, later on Chinese also started to make rockets but that’s more ahead in the future.

3: Also the Chinese had to launch the fireworks somehow this is what the Chinese did. Fireworks one of the legends say as I said on paragraph one, were invented by accident when a Chinese cook had accidentally mixed all of those ingredients started to mix charcoal, sulphur and saltpeter together and that made the fireworks explode when squeezed into a bamboo tube the mixture exploded, also some people say that it was invented around 2,000 years ago and others think that during the ninth century during the song dynasty which was in around 960A.D. till 1279 A.D. To explode the fireworks the Chinese filled bamboo tubes with gunpowder. Then they threw the tubes into a fire so it could set up the explosion. Gunpowder explodes because when you put fire with gunpowder it explodes, it burns very fast and when it burns it starts releasing gases. In 904 A.D. Some Chinese inventors realized that you could also use gunpowder for a very strong weapon. The Chinese army used gunpowder in a form of rockets. They launched them with small stone cannonballs inside a bamboo tube and then they shot the cannonballs out by lighting gunpowder with fire at one end. The thunderclap bombs made a huge amount of noise because of its high percentage of saltpeter. These bombs started fires and scared away horses of invaders who always a constant threat to China. Somehow china really did succeed I would say that ancient china was more developed than other countries on those times.

4: In Ancient china there was this monk named Li Tian who lived in Liu Yang he was who was awarded for inventing the fireworks around 1,000 years ago. The Chinese people are now every April 18th celebrating the invention of a firecracker they celebrate it by making a sacrifice to Li Tian. Now, when you make firecrackers and fireworks you always need to make them explode colors or if not they are not fun this is how you make them explode colors. Fireworks explode colors everyone knows that but since this was new in ancient china they had to invent away for it to explode in colors. To make fireworks explode colors you need the gunpowder to explode colors too. To make it explode with colors the Chinese used saltpeter, sulfur, and carbon (potassium nitrate). They used obviously colors too they used, Indigo to make blue green, White let carbonate to make white etc. Also the Chinese mixed steal dust or powdered cast iron shavings to add bright sparkles. Gunpowder was also used for explosive devices and military use. To find sulfur you had to mine it out of the ground it naturally exists as a yellow rock. Potassium nitrate crystals form in manure you can take the animal manure and let it sit around for a while. Then after mixing the three powders together using 15 parts of saltpeter 3 parts of charcoal and two of sulfur you get a colorful firework, and a firecracker. I would guess that’s why fireworks are so famous because of its explosion of colors up in the sky and its brightness.

6: Thank you for joining me on this journey as you can see china was way more advanced than us since China we know today started. I guess now we know why almost everything says made in china, china has done a lot of inventions even way back then and not just any old invention one that is even used today. I had a lot of fun doing this research it took a lot of hard work but it was all worth it at the end because now I know the whole history of the fireworks and how where they made and how much china has done thousands of years back in the past.

7: Quiz Questions 1. What is one of the legends of how the fireworks were invented? 2. Why do they have fireworks on every Chinese celebration? 3.What celebrations were mentioned in the text? 4.Remember the legend of the Chinese dragon mentioned on paragraph one? What did the dragon do at the end of the year? 5. Where did Li Tian live?

8: Bibliography of, Man lighting the rocket: http://econewmexico.com/perchlorate-free-fireworks front cover fireworks:http://wcaithedaily.wordpress.com/2009/07/03/fourth-of-july-celebrations/ firecracker roll: http://www.sodahead.com/living/what-is-your-favorite-type-of-cracker/question-809953/ Dragon with firework next to it:http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/war/gunpowder.htm

9: Bibliography Carr, Karen. “Gunpowder.” History for Kids. Portland State U., 15 Jan. 2009. Web. 16 Mar. 2010. . Kids Discover. “Celebrating the Chinese New Year.” Ancient China 1997: 8-9. Print. Perkins, Dorothy. Encyclopedia of China: The Essential Reference to China, Its History and Culture. New York: Roundtable, 1999. Print.

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  • Title: Fireworks in Ancient China
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