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Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.

Celebrate Chinese New Year with Fireworks

By February 9, 2013

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Chinese New Year starts tomorrow, which makes today New Year's Eve. Legend has it fireworks were first created by the Chinese in the 800s. These early fireworks were bamboo shoots filled with gunpowder, to be exploded at the commencement of the new year to scare away evil spirits. The Chinese story is well-known, though it's possible fireworks really were invented in India or Arabia. In any case, the 15 days of the Chinese New Year traditionally involve fireworks, so here's some chemistry to help add some science to the celebration.


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