The world's most enchanting 500-year-old fireworks ceremony

The small town of Nuanquan, in Hebei province, northwest China, is the site of one of the world's most dangerous but mesmerizing fireworks displays.

Although fireworks have been a part of Chinese celebrations since around 800 AD, they were not always as widely available and affordable as they are today.

So, about half a millennium ago, local blacksmiths came up with a more viable, but equally dramatic, alternative to conventional fireworks, which is to hurl molten iron against the cold walls. to create sparks that are both beautiful and dangerous.

Picture 1 of The world's most enchanting 500-year-old fireworks ceremony

Picture 2 of The world's most enchanting 500-year-old fireworks ceremony
This is a rather dangerous fireworks ceremony.

As you can imagine, having shards of molten iron falling from above isn't the safest thing in the world, and those brave enough to make the annual celebration prove it.

Although blacksmiths often wear large hats and cover themselves with sheepskin, accidents can still happen, so workers must be extremely careful and take safety measures.

For example, the wooden spoon that blacksmiths use to scoop up molten iron, ensure the distance from the hot iron is up to 1,600 degrees Celsius, so you definitely don't want it near your skin.

Picture 3 of The world's most enchanting 500-year-old fireworks ceremony

Picture 4 of The world's most enchanting 500-year-old fireworks ceremony
Executors must be very careful and take safety measures.

The splashing of hot liquid iron is an energy conversion process. When the blacksmith throws the iron from the furnace, most of the kinetic energy of the liquid iron is converted into potential energy, and the remaining kinetic energy is what causes the splashing impact.

The explosion of molten iron is actually an oxidation reaction of finely divided iron droplets combined with the phenomenon of scattering when hitting the wall. In addition, the carbon impurities in the iron will react with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide, and the impact will cause the carbon in the molten iron to come into contact with oxygen to create an electric spark.

Dashuhua is the only location in Nuanquan town where residents still save scrap metal to donate to blacksmiths in preparation for the annual celebration.

In turn, blacksmiths also incorporated other metals such as copper and aluminum into their performances to create green and white sparks in addition to orange sparks.

Although there are very few young blacksmiths left in Nuanquan to take on the work from the previous generation, at the present time, Dashuhua still has a number of skilled people.

Dashuhua has been around for more than 500 years, but there are no records of the blacksmith being seriously injured or having any serious incidents.