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[hemmerling] The meaning of chinese fireworks for Europe. China firecracker

Publication of the news magazine Voice, issue “02th”, February 2003, page 13, editorial contribution ( article ) by Rolf Hemmerling and Yanni Ji ( Chinese adaption: Yanni Ji. Retranslation from chinese: Yanni Ji, Yan Guo ):

The meaning of chinese fireworks for Europe. China firecracker

Title page of the chinese news magazine "Voice", issue "02th", February 2003Page 13 of the chinese news magazine "Voice", issue "02th", February 2003Kuersche reading the news magazine "Voice".

Rolf Hemmerling, a german, has never been in China. In more than 40 years of his life, he knows china by books and media. He tries to understand china in justness and yearn for find out china with golden mean. Somehow the chinese firecracker became the bridge to help him !

As we chinese know, the black powder was invented during the “Sui” and “Tang” dynasty. After that, the powder was put in an empty bamboo, a detonation was caused by the use of a fireline. This should have been the earliest firecracker. Later, people discover that sparkle will shoot out when it is set to fire. With that inspiration, fireworks was made. This is the ancient fireworks. In the “Song” dynasty, the variety of fireworks products increased: There are smoke, fire, sounds effects and other effects. During the “Nansong” period there are great fireworks parties in the evening. Fireworks from “LiuYang” are famous for its tradition lasting 1300 years till now. According to history, firecracker products of “Liu Yang” in the “Quing” Dynasty play an most important part for the festival of lanterns. Day after day, it becomes an industry. In the early “Qing” dynasty, firecracker goes abroad to most of the asian countries, later there is export to more than 20 countries including some western countries. And nowadays, half of the firecrackers in the world are produced in “LiuYang”

Let's see how is Rolf telling:

What do Europeans associate with China, at first moment ? They think probably of China itself: The 1 billion chinese people, the chinese wall, chinese restaurants, and about chinese fire crackers.

But besides the real thing, a german musician titled his new album of 2002 “Chinese Firecrackers”. Rarely people will choose such a strange name ! But there is a hidden secret: At the end of the CD there is a section with the sound of exploding fire crackers. I imagine that the rock part in his music was influenced by the spirit of chinese fireworks. Not just the album title and the hidden track, but also the color design of the album makes use of the color “red” as brand color.

As if the red is the main color of the Chinese national flag, and the red is the relational contact factor in China. If I tell you, on the European market all the firecracker are red, will you amaze? Such, I developped the habit, that if I see the color red, I think of China !

Let us focus on real meaning about Chinese firecracker in Europe. The meaning is that it is used for making the light and fire harmony, at the last day of our calendar, the “31th”. It reminds people that December lasts and that a new year is going to start. In the european middle age and even later the sound that told the people to change the calender was created by church belles and drums. Black powder was spread to Europe and did not start becoming the fad until the time of the “Age Of Renaissance”.

“King of the Sun” Ludwig XIV in France became well-known by his firecracker evening parties. The courtyards of german towns and baroque gardens were all wonderful places for ancient fireworks. In Germany in 1991, the tradition of firecracker was completely renewed. That year, they held the international firecracker game, with abnormality success.

In fact, imported chinese firecracker from China are very widespread in Europe, that even some anti-chinese boycott campaigns of non-profit and fund-raising organisations focused on it, probably never noticed by the public. In my mind, if China should take a little bit more care of the “political correctness” when dealing with the problems of the manufactoring process of fireworks, it will increase the reputation of the chinese fireworks, and all of Europe will continue along use these brilliant resonant fireworks to celebrate each New Year's Day.


Legend on page 13: “The cover picture of the CD 'Chinese Firecrackers'”.

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