Last night having grown weary of watching the build up to The American Elections, my thoughts turned to fireworks.  Not surprisingly perhaps as we are now merely days away from November 5th, when we English celebrate Guy Fawkes’s failed attempt to blow up The Houses of Parliament in 1605.  The celebrations traditionally take the form of the burning of  ‘the guy’, accompanied by fireworks.

The following blog post is devoted to fireworks, so look away now if you have no interest in fireworks or indeed find them disagreeable.  Fireworks are after all incredibly noisy, potentially injurious and a fire risk, in addition to being an environmental pollutant.

Yesterday I discovered that:

1). The World’s Largest Firework display was in Madeira on the 31st December in 1996.  It lasted for about ten minutes and cost approximately 1 million Euros.  No doubt it was a contributing factor in Portugal’s current debt crisis.  This year Madeira might consider celebrating with sparklers or even using less expensive mini fireworks (see below).

(Courtesy of

2). The World’s Largest Firework Rocket was unveiled at The 12th International Symposium on Fireworks, at yet another Portuguese location, Oporto.  This behemoth weighed an improbable 13.4kg, was 7m metres in length and had a maximum range of 98.37m.  We can only hope the Iranians never get their hands on it.

(Courtesy of

Below is a picture of the Gizmotrix, the World’s largest firework shell.  It has a 48 inch diameter and weighs an enormous 930lbs.  It is launched every September in the town of Katakai town, Ojiya city, as a dedication to the god of the local shrine.

(Courtesy of

And below is a picture of what is purportedly the largest Catherine Wheel ever.  It has a diameter of 105 feet and was ignited in Malta on June 18th 2011.

(Courtesy of

That’s probably quite enough about fireworks records for one day, so I’ll bid farewell with some well known fireworks related trivia that you can test your family and friends with on Bonfire Night.

  • Fireworks originate in China.
  • Fireworks date back to the 10th Century.
  • Fireworks first came to Europe in the 13th Century.
  • Black powder is the most common fuel found in fireworks.

Click on the link to find out more about my book, Charles Middleworth, a humorous tale of the unexpected.  The first two chapters can be read for free, by clicking on the link below.

CharlesMiddleworth(ch 1-2)


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