Holidays for fireworks (and generally blowing up stuff) from around the world

Raymond Chen

Today is Independence Day in the United States, known informally as “The Fourth of July”, thereby making it the only holiday◊ to be named after its own date. (The next closest candidate is New Year’s Day, but nobody calls it “January 1st”.) The original purpose of this Independence Day holiday have been lost to the mists of time.° Nowadays, it’s a day for a barbecue picnic and fireworks. I remember asking a Swede when they celebrate their Independence Day. The response was “Independence? From whom?” In Sweden, as it probably is in much of the world, the big holiday for setting off fireworks is New Year’s Day. (In Asia, Lunar New Year takes precedence.) In England, Guy Fawkes is the traditional excuse for blowing up stuff. In many parts of the world, Christmas appears also to be a big day for fireworks, but for some reason that is not done in the United States. What is the holiday for blowing up stuff in your country? Nitpicker’s corner ◊s/the only holiday/the only major U.S. holiday/

°I was joking about the original purpose of this Independence Day holiday being lost to the mists of time. Everybody knows that it’s a commemoration of the invention of the hot dog.


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