Why are Fireworks Colorful?

            Fireworks crackers, of over 300 varieties are used on various occasions of national, religious and social festivals all over the world. It is estimated that every year, a sum of approximately Rs. 5000 crores is spent all over the world on fireworks. When they are ignited, they explode and present a riot of colors. Do you know why they are so colorful?

The colors to fireworks are provided by salts of different metals

            A mixture of potassium nitrate, sulphur coal and salts of certain other metals are used to make fireworks. Adding chemicals like strontium, barium, magnesium and sodium to the fireworks, provide the colors. They are mixed with potassium chlorate.

            Barium salts give green color, while strontium sulphate produces light sky blue color. Strontium carbonate produces yellow color whereas strontium nitrate produces red, salts of sodium impart yellow color, and those of copper impart blue color.

            Aluminum powder in the fireworks produces the silvery rain. When fireworks explode, these salts present in the fireworks burn, producing various colors, presenting a spectacular sight.

            China was the first country to manufacture fireworks. Hundreds of years later, Europe, Arabia and Greece also manufactured different fireworks.

            At present, a small town in south India named Sivakasi, manufactures the largest number of fireworks in the country. Reference: Children’s Knowledge Bank by Dr.C.L. Garg.