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LIUYANG: City of Fireworks

Making fireworks in China's fireworks capital of the world.

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Although many towns throughout the world have a close association with fireworks there is none with a greater claim to their title 'City of Fireworks' than Liuyang. Situated in the Hunan province of China, Liuyang has a greater concentration of fireworks manufacturers than anywhere else in the world. If you've ever wondered where your fireworks come from, the answer is probably: Liuyang.

It is the nature of fireworks making that the different processes are spread far apart - a precaution against a chain reaction should there be a single accident. For this reason, you can wander far and wide in and around Liuyang and it appears that everywhere you look there is something happening which involves the creation of fireworks.

"If you stand anywhere in Liuyang at night and look in any direction, there will be fireworks going off. Everywhere. In town, out of town, everywhere you look. In all directions.
That also means that everybody else who is buying fireworks will be there, too. People who are buying fireworks from everywhere else in the world. So, at any given breakfast, you'll be sitting down with Brits, Germans, Dutch, Ozzie's, Turks, and Russians-all there for the same reason". Harry Gilliam: Skylighter Fireworks

Exactly how long fireworks have been made in Liuyang is the subject of some debate. Since fireworks are generally thought to have originated in China anyway, it is unlikely that there was any definitive point of origin.

It is probable though that the history of fireworks production in Liuyang spans more than 1300 years. "Industries in China", published in 1935, recorded that "the earliest fireworks came into being in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), and Chinese fireworks manufacturing began to flourish during the Song Dynasty; its birthplace is in Liuyang".

During the Yongzheng reign of the Qing Dynasty (1644 -1911), Liuyang fireworks became an article of tribute to the royal families which gave an added impetus to the developing trade.

Fireworks workshops boomed ( ! ! ! ), until more than nine out of ten households were engaged in the trade. Fireworks began to be exported to more than 20 countries and regions.

Today, Chinese fireworks are amongst the best in the world and the quality and variety of the pyrotechnics has contributed to the growth in the appreciation of fireworks in the UK. Where once upon a time fireworks in Britain were limited almost exclusively to Bonfire Night, we now enjoy fireworks championships, competitions and festivals, as well as celebrating weddings, birthday and any other special occasion with a pyrotechnic flourish.


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