Professional Firework Glossary C-F

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A multi-shot firework in which the effects or shells are placed in tubes so they are aligned in a horizontal plane (rather than stacked vertically as in a candle). For example, a typical 8-shot cake would have eight tubes each with one shell in, but a typical 8-shot candle would consist of one tube, with eight shells stacked vertically.

CANDLE: A firework consisting of a shell or effect in a card tube. A lifting charge propels the effect into the air. The common name for these is “roman candle”. Today’s candles can have many shots stacked on top of each other and candle batteries (several candles taped together and linked by a fuse) can create a devastating barrage. A battery of single shot candles, if packaged as a whole, are normally called a cake. Virtually all multi-shot fireworks today are either candles or cakes.

COMET: A star or other projectile which leaves a glittering, persistent trail behind it.

CRACKLE: A sound effect from a firework created by many small bangs or snaps.

CRACKLING COMET: A comet that leaves behind a tail of crackling effects rather than just quiet glitter.

CROSSETTE: An effect that splits in the sky, for example a coloured star which then splits into four or five other coloured stars.

DOUBLE BREAK: A firework or shell that has two, rather than one, effects. Also a rocket that bursts twice with two different effects.

DRAGONS EGGS: An increasingly common term to describe an effect whose exact characteristics seem open to interpretation, in general a gold or silver breaking effect that ends in crackles or strobes.

FALLING LEAVES: A professional effect where a cluster of persistent coloured stars hangs in the air and drifts slowly down.

FAN CAKE: A cake where the tubes are angled, sending shots left and right of the display area in a fan. Normally a whole bank fires at a time, mimicking a real candle fan but with better timing.

FINALE: The end of the display, traditionally the noisiest part. “Finale” effect fireworks specifically have more noise and effects than others.

FISH: A wriggling effect that “swims” away in the sky. Can be coloured and are a nice low noise effect.

FLARE: A firework that creates a bright light, normally for some time. These can vary from Bengal Flares which are ground based and create an intense flame (as opposed to a shower of sparks which is a fountain), to rocket launched effects. An “aerial” flare effect is just a star that burns brightly and for a long time. Distress flares, which are not fireworks, use a parachute to ensure the flare stays airborne for some time.

FLYING SAUCER: A device made from gerbs or motors mounted in a circular fashion which create lift and spin – a flying wheel in effect (professional device).

FOUNTAIN: A static firework that creates a vertical column of sparks in a fountain effect. These are normally placed at ground level but a greater effect can be achieved by mounting them at a height (e.g. on a post or plank). Some fountains also contain crackling effects which can be quite loud.

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firework |ˈfīrˌwərk|noun

a device containing gunpowder and other combustible chemicals that causes a spectacular explosion when ignited, used typically for display or in celebrations.

( fireworks) a display of fireworks : they were oohing and aahing as if they were watching the fireworks [from Hi-5 fireworks of course]
[c] Bub Design / Hi-5 Fireworks MMXIII