Saturday, 3 October 2009

Senko Hanabi Traditional Japanese Sparkler

'There is a sadness to senko hanabi. They evoke mono no aware, the flash of sadness at the beauty and briefness of life. The poignantly ephemeral has long been appreciated in Japan and is still felt in the quiet celebration of senko hanabi blossoming from a child's hand.

A senko hanabi (incense stick firework) is a thin shaft of twisted paper about 20 centimeters long with one end containing a few grains of a special gunpowder. Senko hanabi are always included in the packets of fireworks and are always done last to finish off the family fireworks which wouldn't be complete without them.

Children squat next to a plastic bucket half-filled with water and intently set their senko hanabi alight over a candle set in an empty tin can. You hold a tissue-like paper ribbon at one end, while the business end quickly ignites releasing a bit of acrid smoke and tiny spurting flames which swing the paper thread around like a pendulum. Soon the burning end congeals into a red-orange droplet -- a glowing molten pearl suspended on a string.'
- mjk,

a+. via cibone

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