November. Remember, remember….. Once again, it’s that time of the year again; the clocks have gone back, there’s a definite nip in the air and Guy Fawkes’ Night is fast approaching.
This week many of us will be enjoying the traditional spectacle of a glittering pyrotechnical performance. Whether your excitement mounts at the prospect of standing under a dark, smoke-filled sky, in the glow of a crackling bonfire, mesmerised by the bangs, pops and whizzes or you’d rather be tucked up with a hot chocolate in front of the box, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to take a look at the most spectacular firework displays across the globe – that are guaranteed to provoke more than a little oo-ing and ah-ing when the touchpaper’s lit!
Incredibly fireworks have a history dating back to 200 BC! In the Chinese province of Liyuan, people created the very first fireworks by tossing bamboo stalks into fire pits to produce the very earliest recorded pyrotechnic effects. With the invention of gunpowder in the Middle Ages, fireworks started to be used across Europe and by the 1830s, Italian pyrotechnicians had been able to create specific colours with their metallic powders, creating something of a global phenomenon for these sparkling explosions. Whilst these days they play an essential part in our lunar new year celebrations they continue to be an increasingly popular ingredient for a huge variety of celebrations across the planet too.
Head to Vancouver during the Honda Celebration of Light which has been a magnificent summertime spectacle for almost 30 years, and you’ll witness a breathtaking display of dazzling fireworks lighting up the night sky over English Bay in British Columbia, their reflections glimmering in the water below.
Or as jaw-dropping backdrops go, Table Mountain makes for one of the best so if you’re seeing the new year in in South Africa, Cape Town’s party will be a memorable one with a stellar performance over the historic Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, in the shadow of this iconic natural wonder.
If you’re lucky enough to experience the glitz and pizazz of a new year party in Las Vegas, you’re sure of a night to remember. As the clock strikes midnight a cacophony of sparkling explosions fills the air above the glamorous hotels and casinos lining The Strip and the Californians know how to throw a party when the fourth of July comes around too!
Closer to home you can be sure of a luminous show in the French capital on Bastille Day as the city commemorates the storming of the city’s infamous prison which heralded the start of the French Revolution. If you’re holidaying in Paris on the 14th July prepare yourself for a stylishly epic firework display as the iconic Eiffel Tower majestically illuminates against a glittering pyrotechnical backdrop.
One of the most moving displays you could hope to witness can be experienced in Venice on the third Sunday each July. The Festa del Redentore gives thanks for the end of the horrific plague of 1576 which killed over 50,000 people. Venetians spend the weekend decorating their boats, terraces and rooftops with colourful garlands and balloons from where they can watch this extraordinarily atmospheric and emotional hour-long display, as it pierces the sky above the domes and spires of one of the most stunning and famous skylines in the world.
And finally, Iceland of course is lucky enough to boast its very own fireworks courtesy of Mother Nature – the fascinating Aurora Borealis, Northern Lights. On a crisp winter night if you’re lucky, you can catch sight of this unpredictable but wondrous and unique natural light show, magically dancing across the night sky in a blaze of mysterious twisting wisps in a hypnotic spectrum of eery greens to glorious pinks and purples.