The origins of Fireworks

We're all very excited for Guy Fawkes Night at PI HQ and it got us thinking, when and where Fireworks were actually invented, the Guy Fawkes story is very well publicised but we realised we knew nothing about the actual origins of Gunpowder and Fireworks.

Impressively it turns out, as legend has it, that it was a chef who stumbled upon the formula! The story goes that a cook in ancient China mixed potassium nitrate, sulphur and charcoal and set light to it, the mixture burned with brightly coloured flames. The chef also discovered if the mixture was set a light inside a bamboo shoot it would explode.

So there you have it the very early origins of gunpowder and fireworks, you learn something new everyday! 

If you're in search of where to go this evening to enjoy fireworks in London why not head to Brockwell Park where the team responsible for the incredible Olympic firework display will be putting on a show.
Alternatively you can see the Lord Mayor's Show and Fireworks this Saturday, the display is set off from a boat on the Thames between Waterloo and Blackfriars bridges.