China’s Spectacular Molten Metal “Fireworks”

A 500-year-old Lunar New Year ritual in Nuanquan, China (a short span, considering the nation has celebrated the holiday for 3,800 years), Da Shuhua involves Chinese blacksmiths tossing molten iron at an icy door to create a riveting shower of sparks. The name translates to “beating down the tree flowers,” which refers to an agricultural practice that stimulates growth in fruit-bearing plants. It was developed as a less expensive way to have a firework displays. Now, however, the pyrotechnics are kept in place because of environment restraints (they’re safer to the air than normal fireworks). Read more about the beautiful but dangerous practice at Smithsonian Magazine.