Dynamic fireworks animate National Day

By Zhang Ming'ai
0 CommentsPrint E-mail China.org.cn, October 1, 2009
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Celebrating the nation's 60th birthday, an unprecedented show of fireworks, both in magnitude and magnificence, illuminated the skies above Tian'anmen Square during the National Day gala. Dynamic 3-D display techniques and over 300,000 fireworks combined forces to demonstrate how China's ancient pyrotechnic industry has moved into a modern era of animation.

According to Zhao Weiping, head of the National Day fireworks team and chairman of the Panda Fireworks Group, disclosed that because hand-made fireworks alone could not effectively make a bold statement, seven months of research went into achieving this breakthrough in Chinese firework technology. Researchers discovered a new form of expression in 3-D and dynamic display techniques.

Since traditional fireworks can only display one color each, to achieve a 3-D effect, many kinds of fireworks in different colors have to be set off simultaneously. A decade ago, attempts were made to use wooden boards to form a shelf, while steel tubes were used to form words and pictures. Unfortunately, the wooden boards caught fire easily.

Recently people discovered that steel wire nets could be used to arrange fireworks in word or picture form and were both durable and safe. Soon the technique was adopted in other parts of the world. Before the National Day gala, the biggest firework net was only 40 meters long and 30 meters wide. The most complicated firework net was in the design of a static landscape painting.

The difficulty in using a large wire net to set off fireworks is that all fireworks fixed to the net have to be set off at the same time.

"Previously we doubted that it would be possible to achieve a 3-D effect, but finally we did it," said Zhao.

Through painstaking trial and error, technicians finally decided to use the net to set off fireworks. They fixed more than 300,000 fireworks on three large wire nets, each weighing nearly four tons and measuring 90 meters long and 25 meters wide.

In order to move the nets to Tian'anmen Square, each net was divided into nine sections measuring 25 meters long and 10 meters wide each. Workers folded them up and put them into wooden boxes equipped with 16 wheels. In case of rain before the National Day gala, the team also made "raincoats" for the more than 300,000 fireworks.

A spokesperson for the director group of the National Day gala, said that organizers would apply for three Guinness World Records in recognition of the earthshaking effect of the fireworks during the National Day gala.

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