Inexpensive fireworks imported from China have led to a resurgence in do-it-yourself, backyard fireworks displays in the US, even as public shows have been scaled back due to post 9/11 regulations. Fireworks sales are soaring in this country, with revenue up to $900M last year, reports the Wall Street Journal. At the same time, injury rates have apparently declined.
China says it makes 75% of the world's fireworks. Most of the bottle rockets, Roman candles and sparklers come from the town of Liuyang where firecrackers were supposedly invented 1400 years ago. In China, flash and noise are thought to fend off evil spirits, and lighting firecrackers is the traditional way of celebrating major life events such as a marriage or a business launch.