October 26, 2011 - Diwali

This Hindu festival is popularly known as the “festival of lights.” Small clay lamps filled with oil are lit to represent the triumph of good over evil. Also, people celebrating Diwali wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks with friends and family.

Some people have fireworks shows and burst firecrackers. Others make beautiful electrical light displays on their houses or hang colorful paper lanterns. A decoration that doesn't involve light is rangoli, designs made on floors or courtyards from colored powder (colored rice, flour, or sand can be used).

Did you know....?

One of the nations that sets aside Diwali as an official holiday is India. Did you know that there is one city, Sivakasi, located in the state of Tamil Nadu, that produces 90% of the fireworks in the entire country? There are more than 8,000 fireworks factories in this one city, including the world's largest firework-manufacturing unit!

(Sivakasi is also the home of the safety match industry—factories in this city manufacture 80% of the nation's safety matches. Finally, the city is big in the printing industry, with calendar art and colorful posters being printed on many offset printing presses.)

How do fireworks work?

Here is a video that shows the components and hand-built creation of a large-scale firework. 

PyroUniverse offers diagrams to help you understand how fireworks work. 

NOTE: the components of fireworks are very dangerous to use, and it is incredibly dangerous to try to make fireworks yourself!!!

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