We all have memories tied to the 4th of July, and most of those memories include fireworks of some kind. In the early eighties, we moved to the United States and so began my happy memories of colorful and magical skies, loud bursts you can feel in your chest and the smell of black powder hanging in the night air.
Why do we love fireworks?
It thrills ALL the senses.
It is a curious anomaly that the pops and bangs of fireworks, so reminiscent of gunfire and turmoil, are part of the pull of the response to a fireworks display. Although we wince, cringe, cry out at the detonations, they are essential to the experience, adding an edge of adrenalin to the spectacle.
Fireworks are a controlled danger.
As for the psychologists, they say that watching fireworks, a potentially risky behavior, releases the chemical dopamine in the brain. That’s the same pesky neurotransmitter that takes over and makes us go loopy when we fall in love. Its a feel good phenomena, and also links to our happy childhood memory of similar sensations. Fireworks: A Fiery Fascination.
Of course my dogs would say that their memories of fireworks can be summed up into two words; pure terror. I am sure if I didn’t know what was going on either, it would be a shock to all my senses.
How do Fireworks Work?
The Future of Fireworks
Although a fireworks experience is already a multi-sensory experience, the sense of smell and taste are not as stimulated as those of sight, sound and touch. The world’s first multi-sensory fireworks display was in London in 2013, crowds were treated to clouds of apple, cherry and strawberry mist, peach snow, plus thousands of big bubbles filled with Seville orange-flavoured smoke and 40,000 grams of edible banana confetti.
Get a behind the scenes look at how Bombas & Parr created this magical event, here.
One of the lovely things about Fourth of July fireworks is that they take us back in time, to the days that communities would get together in town squares and spend the day and night socializing and watching the sparkling event. So the future could really be, keeping it just like it was.
Me, I am excited to go down to my local store and pick up a few boxes of sparklers and share them with my family tomorrow. As each rod bursts into mesmerizing, dripping sparkles, I will be transported away from the ordinary and come back just in time to watch the big show.