10 Fireworks Effects You Should Know the Names Of
Fireworks actually have much more technical names than "The Ones That Do That Shooty Thing," "The Ones That Scream," or "The Ones That Kind of Sparkle Out." Before you take in this year's fireworks shows, here's a mini lesson on the ones you might spot at whatever pyrotechnic display you attend this Fourth of July.
The Peony is "a spherical break of colored stars," and is among the most popular fireworks ffects.
This is a variation of the Peony—the difference is that the stars leave a visible trail of sparks.
The Willow is a lot like the Peony and its variations (the Chrysanthemum and the Dahlia), but it leaves trails of silver or gold stars that produce a weeping willow-ish outline.
It's a compact little burst that falls down, well, like a horsetail. You might also hear this one referred to as a Waterfall Shell.
When the shell bursts, little squiggles of light squirm away from the main burst. The effect looks like fish swimming away.
This one is fast-burning and bursts very hard, which makes the stars shoot out straight and flat—like a ton of little spider legs.
This one produces long, thick streams of light that look like a palm tree when it bursts.
Take lots of tic-tac-toe boards and cross them over each other haphazardly. That's kind of what crossette fireworks look like. It's usually accompanied by a loud crackling noise.
Named after a Japanese hairstyle for boys, this firework has a dense burst that leaves a large, glittery trail.
Rings can come in a variety of shapes, and often have rings within rings.
This post originally appeared in 2009, and was updated in 2019.