Fireworks have become the staple of New Year’s celebrations around the world.

Clip: Showing in Molten Iron

Originating in East Asia, fireworks were the pride of the ancient culture, but not everyone could afford them. 500 years ago in Nuanquan blacksmiths devised their own unique way to celebrate: by flinging molten iron, and creating Da Shuhua (Chinese for “tree flowers”).

“The rich play with firecrackers and the poor perform Da Shuhua.” –Saying in Nuanquan

The process starts by soaking wooden ladles in water for three days. Then villagers donate scrap metal to be hammered apart and melted down to 1800° F.

Donning only sheepskin coats and straw hats, the blacksmiths hurl the liquid metal at cold stone walls, creating the dazzling display.


Flickr: Robert Berkowitz

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