‘Quiet Fireworks’ Are a Thing That Exists, and They’re Sounding Really Good Right Now

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(Via Giphy)

My whole life, I thought fireworks all went “boom” when they exploded, but it turns out the “boom” is unnecessary. It’s possible to design a glittery, colorful fireworks display that does not make loud noises, which would be pretty welcome among a lot of people right now.

The noise made by fireworks during celebrations during July 4th can wake sleeping babies. It can make dogs and cats think the world is ending and either hide in a panic or run away from home, and it can cause birds and wildlife to flee into the night, with sometimes disastrous consequences. Worst of all, fireworks noise can trigger panic attacks in combat veterans suffering from PTSD, which is pretty awful.

But apparently it’s possible to put on fireworks without the noise. It’s just that people really like the noise.

According to The Seattle Times, quiet fireworks are often used near residential areas, or areas with wildlife or livestock that people don’t want to terrify. (Setting off a lot of fireworks near horses is generally an awful idea.) One town in Italy even passed a law requiring all fireworks displays to be quiet ones, because the noise from traditional displays was creating medical problems for residents’ pets.

Quiet elements are already included in traditional fireworks displays. My personal favorite fireworks are the shimmery ones that look like a shower of diamonds, and those don’t usually make a noise. Designers of quiet shows can pick the elements that don’t make noise and put them together for a show that is beautiful and colorful and shimmery, but not loud.

Quiet fireworks can be even more colorful and pretty than the big loud ones, because the big burst that makes the boom is so powerful that the color-producing elements are lost in the explosion. But people would miss the big explosions if they were gone, so it’s unlikely that quiet fireworks shows will ever completely replace the big, loud, traditional celebrations. Quiet shows do make a good option to travel to, though, especially if one has small children who like to look at the fireworks but do not like the loud noises.