Happy 238th birthday America!  While you are celebrating our independence with barbecues, swimming, festivals, and, of course, fireworks, impress your friends and family with a few interesting facts about our favorite holiday tradition.  Behold – 8 things you didn’t know about fireworks:

 

1.  Fireworks have been around for about 2,000 years.  The first documentation dates back to 7th century China, when green bamboo sizzled after being thrown into a fire.  They later filled bamboo with gunpowder to create the first “firecracker.”  Today 90% of all fireworks still originate from China.

 

2.  Not all fireworks are made the same – the largest ever chocolate firework (yes, I said chocolate) was made by Nestle and launched in 2002.  It contained 132 pounds of Swiss Cailler chocolates and was almost 5 feet in diameter.  Hungry anyone?

 

3.  The fireworks industry brings in $940 million per year in revenue.

 

4.  The largest known firework show to date was in 2012 in Kuwait to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their constitution.  They set off a whopping total of 77,282 fireworks!

 

5.  Synthetic clothing can actually set off firecrackers due to static electricity.  Wear cotton!

 

6.  The first fireworks were only orange and white, until the middle ages when they started adding salts to create different colors.  The hardest color to create is blue!

 

7.  Today, pyrotechnicians use firework design software to choreograph their shows.  This guarantees a good show with no interruptions or issues.  Finale Fireworks is an example of a program many professionals use.

 

8. In the US alone, there are around 9,300 reported firework related injuries per year, and 20,000 fires are caused by fireworks.  Basically don’t set off fireworks into a tree, inside your house, or pointing at a friend.