Yasothon, Thailand

Thailand has a rocket festival! A rocket festival! How cool is that? They shoot giant rockets that weigh more than a ton and reach altitudes of more than 20,000 feet off of 65-foot-high bamboo launch racks. The festival usually takes place in April or June so use it as a good precursor to your July 4th festivities.

 

Diwali, India

Diwali quintuples our one-day celebration with its five-day firework marathon called “festival of lights.” This celebration takes place as part of the Hindu New Year.

Hindu temples all over India light off tons of crazy explosives for five days straight and they don’t even use mortar tubes, they shoot their fireworks straight out of holes in the ground. Five days straight you can see these giant explosions in the sky as well as feel the earth shake as the fireworks shoot out of the ground.

 

Tultepec, Mexico

In Tultepec there is a festival called the National Pyrotechnic Festival. This already sounds crazy. These firework aficionados don’t just light off one firework at a time, they have papier-mache towers stuffed with explosives.

This festival is so dangerous that they had to turn a negative into a positive saying that it’s a blessing to get a small burn during this festival.

36 people were supremely blessed at last year’s festival when they were killed in a major fireworks explosion.

This is one case where I’d rather be stressed and not blessed.

 

Chios, Greece

On Chios, an island in Greece two churches celebrates Easter a little differently with the festival of Rouketopolemos. This celebration goes all the way back to the Ottoman era and is between two churches that have a not-so-friendly rivalry.

In April these two churches that are only 1,300 feet apart shoot about 50,000 rockets at each other’s bell towers.

This sounds really cool and blends celebrating with fighting very nicely unless you live somewhere in between the churches. Residents put wire mesh over their windows to try and protect themselves but some have died over this insane annual rocket duel.

 

China

China is the father of all fireworks. They developed the main ingredient in fireworks, the gun powder. Any time the Chinese find something to celebrate, they do it with explosives. They produce more fireworks in China than they do anywhere else in the world so when it comes time to light up the sky, you can count on them to be pioneers.

 

Yanshui, Taiwan

Yanshui has the craziest firework festival I’ve ever heard of. The Yanshui Beehive Firework Festival is a celebration you might want to skip if you have a fear of being burnt to a crisp. Each February they stuff a bunch of rockets onto wooden frames and when lit they shoot off into the crowd of people like a bunch of angry bees. While most people would run away, that would make this festival too safe. Instead, everyone watches and dances as they get hit by fireworks.