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Last Updated: Friday October 21 2005 15:45 GMT

When were fireworks invented?

Fireworks have been around for centuries and are believed to have been invented by the Chinese.

A Chinese document (from about 1040) showed how to wrap gunpowder in paper to make a 'fire pill.' This small firecracker made a very loud bang, which was believed to scare off evil spirits.

Fireworks made their way to Europe sometime in the 13th century. The popularity of fireworks grew, and by the early 1500s groups like the army were lighting them for special events.

The Italians were masters of fireworks through the 17th Century. Throughout Europe, Italian fireworks were used in religious festivals and other celebrations.

Fireworks have become a traditional way to mark events all round the world.

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