Hate is a strong word. I reserve it for things I truly do hate or have an intense or passionate dislike for. And fireworks are usually fun for all. Their dizzying electrical performances are usually never long enough! Who doesn't like fireworks?

But then I was teaching in China, staying in a room on the 18th floor.

I was surrounded by a sea of concrete buildings, except for a huge patch of scrubland a kilometer away. No work had yet to be done. I could only see a hut. The rest was just dirt. It was going to be a forest of more new highrise buildings.

I'm captivated by you, baby, like a fireworks show.”
— Taylor Swift, “Sparks Fly

Every single night for a year - they blasted fireworks off. The kind that shoots silently up 180 feet and explodes in a variety of colors and sharp noises. Professional Real Estate Grade pyrotechnics. From the country that brought you gunpowder and all the positive inventions that have led to the Second Amendment.

Some nights it would be half an hour, and some nights, it went on for three hours. No work ever got done on the property. Someone just routinely spent through their fireworks budget.

But the WORST part about the hardcore commercial fireworks is that they explode at the 18th-floor level, 180 feet up, right in my eye-line. Right at the elevation of my ears. From dusk until whenever they ran out of fireworks, the noise was incessant.

I was rattled for over a year, every night. It shook the windows and shone through the thin drapes.

I don't see the point in Halloween firecrackers except to risk fingers.

"All flowers look like fireworks." — Gilbert K. Chesterton


And fireworks set off car and scooter alarms. So, the city is alive with canned chirps and flashing headlights.

This noise and light pollution is acceptable in China, even expected and admired. The Chinese love the sounds of car alarms and intermittent fireworks.

That is why I hate fireworks.

Share this post