Each Firework Type Has A Name … Do You Know Them?


Independence Day fireworks generally get the “ooohs” and ahhhs,” but did you know that each type has an actual name?

What’s a peony firework?

The peony is one of the most common kinds of aerial pyrotechnic effects. It is named for a variety of plants with large, showy flowers.

Old Farmer’s Almanac

This firework has a starlike explosion that quickly turns into a bulging circle of stars, but without any trailing.

What’s a dahlia firework?

The dahlia is a variation on the peony. This effect has larger stars that travel farther than those of the peony.

(Dahlias are the first ones …)

What’s a chrysanthemum firework?

Take the peony and add a trailing effect to the stars—you’ve got a chrysanthemum firework. The gardeners and botanists among us have probably noticed a theme: all the effects so far take their names from flowers, some of which have rich backstories themselves. The dahlia was named for Swedish botanist Anders Dahl, while chrysanthemum comes from Greek roots, meaning “golden flower.”

What is the diadem effect firework?

The diadem effect is a stunning variation on peonies or chrysanthemums. This firework contains a center of stars that briefly remains still—creating a freeze frame of celestial wonder. Breaking from the botanical theme, diadem means “royal crown,” and plays a pivotal role in the Harry Potter books. The word can also be used as a verb: On July 4th, Americans diademed the sky with patriotic displays.


What is the kamuro firework?

One of the more unusual names for a fireworks effect is the kamuro, which is Japanese for “boy’s haircut.” This explosion creates a tight cluster of silver or gold stars, with attendant glittery, cloudy trails. By the end of the effect, you won’t be able to unsee the haircut in the sky.

There are many more types of aerial effects, as well as a bunch of ground fireworks: poppers, snaps, parachutes, spinners, fountains, Roman candles, snakes, and strobes. Plus, pyrotechnicians have a long list of jargony vocabulary.

Here’s one more to prime you for the grand finale: A crossette is an aerial effect that spits stars outward. These stars travel a short distance before breaking into smaller stars and crisscrossing each other in a gridlike pattern.


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