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Gunpowder was invented in China over 1,000 years ago. It’s not only been used since then for war and destruction, its also been used to mark special occasions.

Fireworks are synonymous with celebration; eruptions of light and noise mark events both public and private, though where I live other people’s ‘private’ firework displays are inevitably public. Everyone likes a good firework display (except my dog, that is), but in moderation and generally when everyone agrees the time and place.

Sending up rockets and setting off firecrackers at 2.00 am to celebrate  your daughter’s 21st or your decree nisi may not be universally well received, so best ask the neigbours before you do.

Some people create emotional firework displays. It can be acceptable in certain situations (weddings and funerals for example) and even entertaining. At other times what is meant to be private can spill over and intrude on other people’s lives. Take care with the fireworks.

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