Fireworks: a guilty pleasure

Fireworks. They cost an absolute fortune. They help no one. They don’t build for the future. They are basically good for nothing except short-term entertainment. Kind of like taking a whole pile of money and burning it. For all of you who believe that state-funded fireworks are a misappropriation of public funds, I hear your argument and I understand where you’re coming from, I really do. But… I have to admit… fireworks are one of my guilty pleasures.

Why? Because fireworks are magical! Ever since I was a young girl, they have fascinated me. I remember clearly the days growing up in Australia when it was legal to buy your own fireworks. Every year on bonfire night, my parents would invite their friends round to our large property to share in the fun. And with 5 acres (2 hectares) of space, there was a lot of fun to be had!

My parents made sure us kids knew that fireworks were dangerous beasts, not to be handled by the inexperienced. I remember being a bit scared of the noise and worried in the lead-up that my Dad would injure himself whilst letting them off. But then the beauty of the bursting, colourful lights captivated me and I was lost in a land of exhilaration.

Fast forward 20 or so years and nothing’s changed except the scale. As an adult I’ve been lucky enough to experience what I believe to be two of the most amazing fireworks displays in the world – Sydney’s New Year’s Eve celebrations and Paris’ quartorze juillet (Bastille Day) displays – several times each.

For those of you who haven’t had the opportunity to catch one of these events, I highly recommend both. Granted, I am quite biased… both the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Eiffel Tower hold special places in my heart. But it is almost undeniable that these famous structures provide a stunning backdrop to these massive fireworks displays… and somehow enhance the fascination.

As the sun fades, the anticipation mounts…

Sydney fireworks 1

Paris fireworks 1

And the wait is worth it!

Sydney fireworks 2

Paris fireworks 3

But undeniably the most amazing moment comes when these majestic monuments light up with the fireworks. A simply stunning experience…

Sydney fireworks 4

Paris fireworks 4

So if you’re anything like me and have a bit of a soft spot for fireworks… 31st December in Sydney or 14th July in Paris are the dates/places to be. Or, at least they are in my experience. Anyone got any other recommendations? Fireworks are as good as any other excuse to travel!


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