Fireworks

This passage is about how fireworks were invented and named.

Lexile Level: 1140L

Categories: History Science & Technology


Fireworks were invented in China at least a thousand years ago though it's uncertain exactly when or by whom. One story exists about a cook who accidentally created an explosive mixture inside a hollowed-out bamboo shoot. Recently, the innovations in fireworks have occured in Italy and the United States. But the names still come from the different shapes that fireworks make in the sky. The peony is a giant expanding ball of color and is the most common firework. The chrysanthemum resembles the peony, but the sparks leave a visible trail in the sky, falling after the initial ball shape is formed. The willow doesn't make a ball shape, but the sparks trail downward like the chrysanthemum, creating a shape like a weeping willow tree. The fish is a large, loud burst of sparks with a brighter shape that skitters as if it was a fish.


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