Senko hanabi – beautiful Japanese sparkler

Remember the first time i saw this fireworks is on BoA’s “Valenti” PV. The fireworks is very different from the fireworks I played during festive season. The sparks are beautiful, but not very strong, and less smoke produced, and there’s a big red ball at the tip of the fireworks. It is very nice to watch. Then these few days I watched J-drama “Yama Onna Kabe Onna”, the fireworks appear again! After doing some research, finally i know that the fireworks is called Senko Hanabi (線香花火).

Japanese loves to play fireworks during festive season. From huge to small, fireworks is a very nice thing to play and it makes people feels better. And senko hanabi is the perfect companion, ideal for couples, friends and family gathering. A senko hanabi is a thin shaft of twisted paper about 20 centimeters long with one end containing a few grains of a special gunpowder.

The packaging of senko hanabi is very nice too, as what picture shown below. The sparkler is wrap with different color papers and a small candle is provided too. To play, you hold the paper ribbon on the end of sparkler, and start ignite the other end. The head burnt and soon the burning end congeals into a red-orange droplet: a glowing molten pearl suspended on a string. Then you can see some sparks burst out from the droplet.

People don’t swing the senko hanabi and making noise when it sparks, but hold it vertically, squating down and quietly enjoy the sparks. You have to hold it tight, if not, the bead drops and all is lost. The sparks lasted for a minutes, when the bead drops by itself. The screenshot of “Yama Onna Kabe Onna” drama shown below clearly show this.

According to Tokyo Under the Tracks, there is a sadness to senko hanabi, the flash of sadness at the beauty and briefness of life. Senko hanabi somehow hypnotize the player into silence, staring at them and enjoy the short moment of beautiful sparks. No wonder many songs with title “Hanabi” have a little sad mood in it, for example Hamasaki Ayumi, AAA and Plane.

In Malaysia, I can’t see this kind of sparklers is being sell and eventually my country bans fireworks… How i wish to play this senko hanabi! To learn more about beautiful senko hanabi, please visit Tokyo Under the Tracks and Pingmag.

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