Fireworks and the new year’s eve

In a way, it is very interesting that the tradition of celebrating the new year have something in common almost everywhere we go. Of course, I am talking about the beautiful, bright, and loud exploding things we can come across in the night sky around that time – the fireworks. It is interesting to know, that they are believed to be invented in China in the 7th century. However, they didn’t come in so many colors and shapes as today. They were also used for different purposes (like scaring away the evil spirits), but hey, we needed to start somewhere, right? In today’s time, tons of these thingies are sold in different shapes, and colors and we just can’t seem to get enough of them.

The making of the fireworks

Different kinds of fireworks exist (firecrackers, sparklers, and aerial fireworks), but mostly they are designed in the same way. It is true for all of them, that what they are designed to do, looks like pure magic. In a way it actually is – it’s a scientific magic. The wizards behind this, are some clever people, that know how to place specific components (here we are talking about different kinds of metals and some kind of a gunpowder) in a container. While they are preparing this, they also pull some tricks, to enable the whole thing to travel to a safe distance before exploding and presenting the pre-programmed trick.


Effects on the environment 

One thing you probably did think about before, is the noise pollution that comes with all this new-years eve ”drama”. But most probably, you never thought about the light and air pollution that comes with it. With the term light pollution, we are not really referring to light changing its color due to pollution. This term defines, that there is light when it should be dark (and yes, street and vehicle lights, as well as the advertisement lights also contribute to this kind of pollution). Light pollution can influence the changes of behavior of some birds, bats, insects etc. and can lead to stress on many levels.

For animals (and maybe also for some of you) this is the most mysterious part of the year. From their perspective, we just decide at some point that its time to light up the sky and make a loud noise, which creates overall chaos, stress, and disorientation. There are a lot more collisions (with cars, turbines etc.) and many baby animals are left behind because of these chaotic runs. Lets also not forget that some animals have very impressive hearing capabilities (of course not all of them hear the same sound frequencies as we do).

The last thing I would like to say some words about is the air pollution. This comes from the components, that were used in the production of the fireworks in order to perform magic. The most commonly used metals are aluminium (Al), barium (Ba), calcium (Ca), chloride (Cl), copper (Cu), lithium (Li), magnesium (Mg), nitrogen (N), strontium (Sr), sodium (Na), and titanium (Ti). These metals are usually not used as raw elements but are combined with one another or with other components. After the explosion, when they fall down to the surface of the Earth, they begin to play their roles in the environment. In general, we can say that some of these elements are known to contribute to water, soil and air contamination. Along the many ways they do it, the contribution to the acidic rain formation is probably the most problematic one.


There is an interesting adaptation we can come across when researching the air pollution. The Peppered moths were originally white, but because of the enormous amounts of burned coal during the industrial revolution, the tree trunks started to turn darker. The organisms that were darker were, therefore, harder to spot and gained the upper hand over the lighter colored ones. After the reduction of the burned coal, the tree trunks again started to become lighter in color and the white colored organisms took the upper hand again.

This is still not everything I have to say about the fireworks. When this mysterious time of the year passes there are a lot of leftovers (unused fireworks, empty containers etc.) that find their new home in nature. Have you ever thought about what happens to them? Many, at some point, cross paths with curious animals. This usually ends badly for them, since they often get entangled and are left injured (or at least slowed down) and therefore less likely to survive. We can easily prevent this from happening when we become aware of them. If you really need to light some fireworks, go ahead, just be sure that you clean everything after yourself.

However, we wish you a wonderful new years eve celebration and all the best in the upcoming year!

25 thoughts on “Fireworks and the new year’s eve

  • Fireworks are so nice to watch but we very often forget about the world around us while looking up in the sky.

  • I love fireworks but you know what, I always see them and enjoy but deep inside, I am thinking about the fact, why we are burning our money and not helping any needy with this.
    I feel using fireworks is like buring your dollar bills.
    But thanks for the information about fireworks. Now I know, how they work 🙂 and tehy are almost same

  • One thing that makes the Xmas festive period and crossover night to year interesting and run is not only the drinking and merrying but the throwing of fire works which makes the period remarkable…. But the truth is that people don’t care about the effects on the environment especially the sound pollutions etc….and looking at the justice you have done here, it is really educating and well treated.

  • While I lovvve fireworks, my first concern has always been pollution. I saw fireworks on the beach for the first time this year and there was SO much litter and smoke on the beach from everyone doing their own fireworks. All of this of course goes into the ocean. Not cool.

  • Eeep. I’ve been scared of fireworks for these very reasons. I’m honestly not a huge fan of them, but I’m trying to overcome it because I don’t want my son to have a fear of them just because I do. If that makes sense. Very interesting post!

  • A very informative article. I love fireworks and I wouldn’t mind spending money (if I have the money) to spend because for me, watching it encourages me and helps me to shine like how they do even for a short time of my lifespan and encourage or inspire others like how they do as well.
    Although it does seem to be adding up with the air pollution, I am just hoping that it isn’t that bad since it only happens once or twice a year. I don’t want it to go away because it is only the thing that connects me to home in a strange place.
    Ooopss too emotional hehe Happy New Year!

  • Great post!! I am from India and we have the festival of lights – Diwali, where we celebrate with fireworks. Over years this has lead to an increase in air pollution. But recently, people have started realizing the effects and in turn, don’t use as many fireworks as they did before.

  • I don’t know actually do i like them … but i remember a couple of years ago when i was in USA … every Friday there were fireworks for around 20 min and it was really awesome, and it was they were coming from the ocean … so beautiful!

  • Not many people consider the impacts of these things on the environment – after all it’s only a once (or twice – depending on culture) a year event! It’s good you are highlighting the long lasting impacts that fireworks can have, once all the dust has settled!

  • I knew that firecrackers are bad for our environment but I didn’t know that these are made from such metals.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *