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            BOOM! BOOM! WHHHIZZZEEEE! "Ooos and ahhs- are heard from the crowd of spectators as a huge blue crysanthemum with red pistils, a cluster of pink and blue peonies, and six long silver tiger tails light up the sky. Fireworks have been around for over 1,000 years. Fireworks have been used to help celebrate Independence Day since the very beginning of America. But the people of the United States are not the only ones to use fireworks in their celebrations. Special events in almost every part of the world have almost always included the setting off of fireworks. The birthplace of fireworks is unknown, but today they are created mostly by family-owned businesses. In addition, they are very dangerous if used incorrectly.
             Even though the exact birthplace of fireworks is unknown, China is generally recognized as their home. It is likely that someone in China threw some green bamboo onto a fire when fuel ran short. The rods sizzled and blackened and, after a while, unexpectedly exploded because bamboo grows so fast that pockets of air and sap get trapped inside of the plant. This causes the plant to expand and burst when heated (Morgan 19). The strange sound, which had never been heard before, was used during special occasions like the New Year, weddings, and births to repel evil spirits. The Chinese called it pao chuk, or "bursting bamboo."" .
             During the Sung dynasty, the first explosive mixture, gunpowder, was discovered. Gunpowder is made by mixing ground-up charcoal with sulfur and saltpeter, which was the old term for potassium nitrate (Anderson, Brown 15). It is believed that a Chinese cook discovered gunpowder accidentally. While adding saltpeter to food he was cooking, he spilled a little into the fire. He noticed that the saltpeter made the fire burn more brightly. After this discovery, the Chinese mixed charcoal with saltpeter to make a mixture that would burn continuously.

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