The Suwa Lake New Fireworks Contest
July 5, 2015 10:50 AM   Subscribe

Each year two fireworks festivals are held at Suwa Lake in Nagano, Japan. The first, in August, is one of the largest in Japan. The second, in September, features a contest for the best new fireworks. Some of the effects are stunning: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014.

Bonus links:

The Suwa Lake Fireworks' show's website (in Japanese).

A thorough glossary of pyrotechnics terms [pdf] from the British Pyrotechnics Association.

A slightly less thorough but non-PDF glossary.

A great page showing how shells are designed to achieve various effects, such as cut stars, pumped comets, serpents, whistles, reports, and tourbillions.
posted by jedicus (5 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
(Direct links to each entry are included in the extended descriptions of the 2011-2014 videos. The 2012-2014 descriptions are also annotated with the results of the contests, if you just want to see the winners.)
posted by jedicus at 10:55 AM on July 5, 2015

I like the format of the new fireworks show. It gives you a minute to appreciate each one, and a little recognition to the artist.
posted by ctmf at 11:05 AM on July 5, 2015

Thanks for this, jedicus. My dream vacation is making a circuit of as many of the Japanese firework festivals and competitions as possible. The fireworks themselves are stunning, but I also love to hear the reaction from the crowd.
posted by ob1quixote at 12:23 PM on July 5, 2015

I've always wondered how the new fireworks get invented! Every few years it seems there's something to elicit a big "wow." I remember when I was young the squealing spermlike ones were mindblowing. In the last decade or so it's been interactions on the circle: smiley face, peace sign, Saturn. I hope to see some new effects make their way Stateside.
posted by Miko at 7:41 PM on July 5, 2015

So cool. Thanks!
posted by SLC Mom at 9:38 AM on July 6, 2015

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