Story of Rs 1,000 Crore Firecracker Business in Sivakasi, Tamilandu

In India, when we think of firecrackers we think of Diwali. When we think of Diwali, we think of lights and crackers, sound and smoke, gold rush and assorted dried fruits. However, fireworks and firecrackers are not just limited to one festival. In reality, the firecracker business is a big one which involves a lot of money.

The history of fireworks can be dated to 2000 years ago when the Chinese discovered crackers by accident. The Chinese burnt bamboo to mark the Lunar New Year. As the bamboo caught fire, air caught in the bamboo shaft expanded and burst. The “popping” sound was the first firecracker, a good way to scare away evil spirits.

Chinese alchemists messed around with various chemicals to come up with a mixture that added more sound to the bamboo pop. This explosive mixture was today’s gunpowder.

Over the next couple of centuries, the Italians and French perfected the art of making gunpowder. Soon, fireworks spread to India too.

What started as a means to ward off evil slowly became an integral part of weaponry.

Today, the widespread use of firecrackers has made it a big business in India.

In India, any festival calls for bursting crackers. Whether it’s a puja of a major deity or a marriage, fireworks add to the celebration. Apart from the regular festivities, fireworks have also become an integral part of cricket wins. Especially an ODI win against Pakistan sends people into a paroxysm of joy. The best way to celebrate and express this joy is to burst firecrackers night-long.

If there is glitter and sizzle, can Bollywood stay far behind? Rs. 450-500 crore riding on Bollywood films starting from Diwali till end of the year. The firework industry in India is pegged between Rs. 800-1000 crore. 90% of the firecrackers are produced in Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu India. Sivakasi also has nearly 8,000 unorganised firecracker manufacturing units.

For those who thought that firecrackers only have a prominent place in India are highly mistaken. Foreign countries such as USA, UK, France, China, Chile, Montreal, Malta and Japan enjoy fireworks. In America, Fourth of July marks a great celebration with glitz, glamour and a magnificent firework display. Also, Disney World in Florida has more than 1,000 firework shows per year.

The Montreal Fireworks Festival is considered to be the biggest; biweekly show held since 1985.

Thus, Ayyan Fireworks have become a big business and part of celebration worldwide. However, in US, firecrackers are only allowed under police and fire department supervision. Singapore and Indonesia allow it only during the festive season. Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia have banned firecrackers. And, Australia allows only licenced pyro technicians to use firecrackers.

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