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19 Different Types of Fireworks

A close look at fireworks exploding in the night sky.

The Chinese invented the fireworks in 200 B.C. when they discovered that bamboo thrown in a fire explodes in a big bang. That’s when they decided they could use it to ward off evil spirits. In A.D. 600 to 900, a Chinese alchemist developed the firecrackers and began using it to make weapons.

Fireworks was introduced to Europe by Marco Polo in 1295 after traveling the Orient. The early settlers, in turn, brought fireworks to America in the 1730s. In the 1830s, Italian pyrotechnicians improved on the fireworks by adding chemicals that produced colors. Strontium produced red, Barium produced green, Copper produced blue, and Sodium produced yellow.

Check out Mr. Wilson’s “Top of the Hill” fireworks show we attended in our neighborhood on Halloween night 2021:

This was an incredible neighborhood fireworks show.


A close look at firecrackers exploding on the asphalt ground.

Arguably the most popular kinds of fireworks available commercially nowadays, firecrackers have become incredibly popular for a variety of reasons. If you visit any local store that sells party equipment and other miscellaneous stuff, you are likely to find firecrackers in their inventory as well. Some popular types of firecrackers include the Black Cats, the Lady Fingers, and of course, the M-80.

There are hundreds of other types of firecrackers, so you are probably going to be spoilt for choice when it comes to making a selection. The entire purpose of a firecracker is to burst and make loud noises when it explodes. You can also find strings of firecrackers, which ideally range from an amount as small as 12, going all the way to a humongous 10,000.

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Because of the fact that they are relatively easy to light up and tend to make a lot of noise, firecrackers are generally considered to be a good choice for someone who has only just begun to explore the different kinds of fireworks.

On their own, firecrackers are a lot of fun. However, because they are available in strings, you can also wrap them around other things. For instance, many kids tend to wrap these firecrackers around old toys or stuffed animals and then light them on fire.

The explosions that ensue are nothing short of an amazing sight to behold, and it’s a very popular hobby amongst kids. Almost every child throughout the country has at some point wrapped a small figurine or a stuffed animal to a firecracker and then blasted it off. If you are looking to buy firecrackers, you can visit

Smoke Bombs

A close look at an orange smoke bomb exploding on the ground.

For a kid with a wild imagination, no other kind of firework is better than a smoke bomb. By their very definition, smoke bombs are not designed to explode. However, there are numerous varieties available nowadays that tend to explode and then release smoke.

The standard variation simply pops, releasing a lot of smoke as it does. Because it’s not easy to see smoke during the night time, most of the smoke bombs are best used during the day time. The amount of smoke released by each bomb varies depending on its size and type.

Smoke bombs can be divided into two popular variants: the cylindrical smoke grenades and the colorized smoke balls. Many of the smoke balls that are available nowadays are also available in a number of different colors. Many kids love playing with these smoke bombs and grenades because they can serve as smoke screens.

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Once you light up a smoke grenade, it’s going to start emitting a large cloud of thick white smoke. Smoke bombs range from cheaper versions, which only emit smoke for a few seconds after being lit, while there are more expensive variants as well, which cost more money, but also emit smoke for considerably longer periods of time. Colored smoke balls are also available, which emit smoke in a variety of different colors.

Novelty Fireworks

A novelty fountain firework exploding on the ground.

Novelty fireworks are commonly used in many events, and even children love playing with them. Novelty fireworks are available in a variety of different shapes and sizes, ranging from small rockets to tiny eggs. When fired, these egg fireworks blast up into the sky and can form a variety of shapes.

From conventional designs to unique novelty fireworks that involve tanks shooting out patriotic missiles or chickens laying eggs, there is really no shortage of creativity when it comes to selecting fireworks.

Most of the boxes of novelty fireworks contain a picture of what kind of shape or image the firework will make when it’s fired up in the sky. If you want, you can even wrap conventional firecrackers, such as Black Cats, to these novelty fireworks and then blow them to pieces after the tank has stopped firing its missiles.

There’s a lot of fun to be had with novelty fireworks, especially if you know how to use them correctly. Because each kind of firework is completely different, you can mix and match them to create colorful images of light in the air.

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Novelty fireworks are excellent for children on major holidays or at events that you want to celebrate, such as a birthday. If you are interested in buying high-quality novelty fireworks at affordable rates, you should check out:


A fountain firework releasing sparks and explosions up and around it.

If you are looking for fireworks that are relatively safe to use and don’t cost a lot of money, then the fountain is a good choice. Most of the fountains that are available through local stores are basically cone-shaped devices. They sit on the ground and when fired they start releasing a lot of sparks all around the device.

Some fountains even release colorful sparks, which adds a bit of style. Don’t think that the sparks are going to fly as high as the ceiling because they probably won’t. Fountains are designed to be relatively safe and compared to other options in this article, they are obviously not as thrilling.

The sparks usually last for a few seconds before the fireworks fizzle out completely. Fountains are ideal for parents who are looking for mild, simple fireworks that they can shoot with their kids, without having to put them in harm’s way. Many girls who don’t like loud noises or popping fireworks prefer fountains as well.

All you have to do is to place the fountains in an open space (make sure that there are no flammable items around the fountains) and then light it up. Stand back when you do because the sparks are going to fly in all directions. Since there are likely to be a few stray sparks as well, it’s better if you put on sunglasses before you light up the fountains.

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Ground Spinners

A ground spinner splashing sparks around it in a circular pattern.

Another popular type of firework that is mostly designed for use on the ground, ground spinners are ideal for children who want to shoot off some fireworks on the ground. The name used for these fireworks sums them up pretty well; they just spin on the ground when lit up, releasing sparks in all directions. Most people often refer to the smaller versions of these spinners as “jumping jacks,” while the larger versions are known as the “Blooming Flowers.”

The reasons for this are pretty simple; the smaller ones simply tend to spin aimlessly on the ground, but the larger ones usually release colored sparks in all directions. If you look at these spinners from afar, it’s going to seem as if a flower is blooming from the ground.

There’s no doubt about the fact that these fireworks look incredibly pretty when they are lit, especially if someone makes a video from above. However, if you are looking for a bit of thrill (because let’s face it, that’s what most people buy fireworks for!), you are unlikely to satisfy your desire through ground spinners only. But, when it comes to aesthetic appeal, ground spinners are a fantastic choice.


Two hands holding a sparkler firework each.

Sparklers have been around for quite some time, and anybody who has used fireworks as a kid will have used these at some point in their lives as well. Sparklers were mainly created with kids in mind and are generally safe as long as you know how to handle them properly.

Basically, a sparkler is a small stick that gives off golden sparks when it’s lit. Sparklers can be held in the hand, but you just have to make sure that you extend your arm fully so that the sparks don’t fall on your clothes.

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Because you will be holding them in your hand, you can simply wave around the sparklers to create a beautiful light show as well. Ideally, sparklers are generally available in two different varieties. The more expensive ones are generally made out of metal, while the cheaper variants are known as Morning Glories and are made out of paper.

The latter is generally a much safer option for children, primarily because you don’t have to worry about holding a hot metal stick in your hand by the time the sparkler burns out. Because it’s made out of paper, the Morning Glory simply fizzles out into nothing.

Poppers and Snakes

Poppers and snakes are also commonly known as snaps and are the ultimate choice for people who wish to buy fireworks that are safe for kids. Colloquially known as “kiddy fireworks,” these fireworks have a tiny string and usually have a bottle-shaped appearance.

As soon as you pull on the string, it starts shooting out confetti or pops immediately. Some also snap, creating a loud bang. Basically, these fireworks contain minerals that cause a small pop when they come into contact, which happens when the string is pulled.

You will hear nothing but a small popping noise and people who are expecting something of a show are likely to be disappointed with these. On the other hand, the snakes are generally fireworks that when lit, release minerals, creating a thin, brittle line of carbon ash, which often looks as if a snake is coming out of the ground.

Despite the fact, they are so simple and easy to use, and of course, completely devoid of any thrill, they are a good choice for those who are only just getting into this hobby. If you have little kids that you can’t trust with bigger and more dangerous fireworks, starting them off with poppers, snakes, or snaps is an excellent idea.

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Roman Candles

A roman candle with American flag patterns on it shooting off sparks.

Roman candles look like long tubes, such as conventional candles, but have a string coming out from one end. When lit, the roman candles tend to shoot off colorful balls of light. Some of the balls that are released often flash, explode, or even crackle for a little bit before they fizzle out completely. Some people even tend to hold these candles in their hands while firing them off.

However, it’s generally advised that you avoid handling these fireworks when shooting them. There have been numerous cases where children are found waging small fireworks battles with the help of Roman candles. Needless to say, this is incredibly dangerous and could cause serious injury, so you have to avoid it at all costs.

Roman candles are generally pretty affordable and are available in packs of various sizes as well. They don’t cost a lot either and are a good choice for people who want to play it safe and wish to introduce some variety into their fireworks collection. If you are interested in buying Roman candles, you should visit

Missiles and Rockets

A woman holding four unlit missile fireworks up in the air.

One of the most popular types of fireworks that you can find at virtually any store is the standard firework missile or rocket. Bottle rockets are available in various sizes and if you were to look at different varieties of fireworks, you will realize that these are arguably the most popular amongst various demographics.

The concept is simple: the bottle rocket is designed to look like a conventional rocket, except it has an elongated stick at the back.

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Bundles of rocket fireworks on display at a store.

You just have to light that stick on fire, and the bottle rocket will take to the skies. It’s going to go up to a certain height before exploding. While some bottle rockets just explode when they reach a specific height, there are various versions that also cause major explosions, which leads to beautiful fireworks display high up in the skies.

Bottle rockets are also incredibly dangerous, especially if you don’t keep it pointed right up to the sky. If a bottle rocket hits someone and explodes, it can cause a serious injury. Because of these reasons, most variations of bottle rockets and missiles are completely banned from several states. Therefore, it’s recommended that you check the local laws first before you start shooting off bottle rockets in your area.


A box of parachute fireworks.

Another fantastic choice for people who are looking to buy fun fireworks is the parachutes. The concept of a parachute is very simple, it’s designed to function as a floating firework. However, on its own, the firework is going to look pretty boring. But, if you were to stuff a small toy along with the firework, such as a small army man or any other figurine, it will greatly improve the thrill and experience.

Just pack a small figurine with some mild explosives, and watch as the tube floats down to the ground while the parachute slows down the descent. Children love playing with these because it’s fun trying to catch the fireworks as they slowly descend to the ground.

You can easily use a variety of different toys with these parachutes if you want to add a unique element of fun to the parachutes. They are perfectly safe and can be a lot of fun if you have an intuitive imagination.

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Aerial Repeaters

If you want a gorgeous fireworks display right in your backyard, then you should definitely consider buying these aerial repeaters. Basically, aerial repeaters consist of a number of different fireworks that are all bundled together to form a sort of “cake.”

Each of these tubes has a tiny shell that tends to explode up in the sky, thus creating a fantastic display. The fun thing about the aerial repeaters is that you don’t have to worry about lighting each different tube individually. They are all connected in a series format, so you just have to light one up and the rest will take care of itself.

Aerial repeaters are a great choice for people who just want a fireworks display to end a fantastic night. They look incredibly good and are generally pretty affordable, so you won’t have to spend a lot of money when buying them either.


Red and pink peony fireworks lights up the sky.

Now that the most popular types of fireworks have been discussed, it’s important to focus on the various styles available. The peony is one of the conventional fireworks that fly up in the sky and creates a gorgeous display. The firework releases no trails or tails, and simply explodes in the sky after reaching a certain height, creating a beautiful, multicolored, globe-shaped display.

They are ideal for use at weddings or events as well. When anyone mentions fireworks, this is probably the first image that comes to mind. Peony fireworks can be bought in various sizes, so you should know that the price points usually vary.


In sharp contrast to the Peony, the Girandola spins up into the sky, leaving behind a long trail in its wake. While it may resemble a wheel the Girandola spins rapidly up as it climbs in the air, shooting off a spray of different sparks, and often emits a high-pitched whistle as well. The Girandola does not create a shaped display and just spins into the air until finally exploding and releasing sparks in all directions.
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A couple of Chrysanthemum fireworks light up the city skyline at night.

Named after the famous flower, the chrysanthemum is very similar to the peony. The firework flies up all the way into the sky, and when it explodes, it creates a spattering of bright lights in a circular shape, but leaves behind faded trails as well, which makes the entire display look like a chrysanthemum only. If you look at it closely, you will notice the pistol as well: a colorful burst that appears right in the center. These fireworks look incredibly good and their faded trails add a touch of uniqueness to them as well.

Flying Fish

The flying fish or the beehive, as it’s commonly known, is a series of colorful stars that resemble swarm-like movements of fish in the water. If you look at it closely, you will realize that it looks exactly similar to a school of fish swimming rapidly in the water.

Their swarm-like movements make them a fun sight to behold, but just keep in mind that they don’t really cover a lot of areas. Compared to a bigger firework, such as the chrysanthemum or the Willow, the flying fish is generally much smaller.

The Willow

The Willow firework lights up against the dark sky.

The bright stars that emanate when the Willow is lit up leaving behind a significantly longer trail of particles and smoke, which makes it look very similar to the canopy of a willow tree. In fact, the lanky branches that you see on the Willow share a striking resemblance to the tree as well.


The comet is basically a simpler firework that tends to leave behind a glittery trail and can be fired in any direction. Think of it as a rocket racing through the sky at sharp speeds, except it’s not a rocket, but a firework that spreads through the air.
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The distinctive appeal of the Comet is the fact that from afar, it looks just like a comet hurtling through the sky, leaving behind a large trail of smoke. Comet fireworks are generally used as a prelude to creating a larger effect, such as firing the Willow up into the sky next.


Purple Crossette fireworks light up against a black backdrop.

Crossettes are very similar to the conventional comet firework, but instead of flying in one direction, it splits into two at the apex, thus creating a unique appearance. You will notice a lot of sparks flying from the Crossette as it reaches its maximum height, making it look incredibly beautiful. Crossettes can cause the night sky to light up in a variety of colors as well, especially if you choose the multicolored variant.


Compared to the many other fireworks on this list, the skyrocket is completely different. Most of the fireworks tend to explode and leave a colorful burst of sparks in the air. However, the skyrocket is different. The real highlight doesn’t fall when the firework is about to fizzle out, but the incredible sight is right there when it’s lit up.

The cylindrical body of this firework flies straight up in the sky as it goes straight up in the air. You will continue to notice the trail of sparks as the firework climbs high up in the sky until it eventually fizzles out. These fireworks are a great choice if you want to build up to a bigger fireworks display.