Guinness World Records - Officially Amazing

Bonfire night: Our pick of firework-related records

 
 
 
 
 
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Bonfire night, also known as Guy Fawkes night, is marked by thousands across the UK on November 5 with small fireworks parties in back gardens along with big organised displays in public parks.

The annual event marks the anniversary of the arrest of Guy Fawkes who had plotted to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London in 1605.

So get ready to ooh and ahh as we pick out some suitably combustive world records to mark the occasion.

The largest firework display consisted of 77,282 fireworks and was achieved by the State of Kuwait during the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the Constitution held in Kuwait City, Kuwait, on 10 November 2012.

The firework display stretched over 5 km (3.11 miles) of seafront, started at 8 p.m. and lasted 64 minutes.

The largest commercially available firework is the Super Crown which is 0.6 m (2 ft) tall, has a 41 cm (16 in) shell and is packed with 34 kg (75 lb) of gunpowder and explosives.

These take about eight seconds to reach 488 m (1,600 ft) at which point a second charge at the shell's core scatters golden stars across approximately 0.5 km (0.25 mile), each one burning for a further nine seconds. 

To import the Super Crown from China costs £200 plus a further £200 for the mortar (which has a case 5 cm (2 in) thick) to launch the firework.

Apart from this, a hole 2 m (6 ft) deep must be dug to house the mortar.

The firework uses a range of chemicals to achieve its effects. Iron and the metallic element antimony produce sparks and glitter, red flames are produced from compounds of lithium and strontium, yellowy gold from sodium, blue from copper and green from barium. 

The First use of rockets can be traced back to 13th century China. Propelled by gunpowder, `flying fireworks', (charcoal-saltpetre-sulfur), were described by Zeng Gongliang in 1042. War rockets originated in 1245 near Hangzhou, China (the capital of China between 1127 and 1278) However the first use of true rockets was reported in 1232 when the Chinese and Mongols were at war with each other. During the battle of Kai-Keng, the Chinese repelled the Mongol invaders by a barrage of 'arrows of flying fire'.

The largest Catherine wheel record was set in Mqabba, Malta, on 18 June 2011. Measuring 32.044 m (105 ft 1.56 in) in diameter, the super-sized firework was built by Lily Fireworks Factory, with the wheel completing four revolutions under its own propulsion once lit.

The world's longest firework waterfall was the 'Niagara Falls', which measured 3,517.23 m (11,539 ft 5 in) when ignited on 23 August 2008 at the Ariake Seas Fireworks Festival, Fukuoka, Japan.

Finally, often regarded as the most timid of fireworks, the humble sparkler nevertheless has its own entry in the record books.

Sparklers

The most sparklers lit simultaneously is 845 and was achieved by Kyoto Tsubasukai (Japan) in Ukyo, Kyoto, Japan, on 12 May 2013.

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