Fourth of July means hot dogs, beer and beaches—and above all else, fireworks. The tradition actually began as early as Benjamin Franklin and has only picked up steam since.
In honor of families across America gathering to watch the colorful displays, here's a guide to six of your favorite fireworks--so you don't have to keep referring to them as "the one that looks like a dandelion."
And if you're trying to capture the perfect Fourth of July Instagram, check out 6 Secret Tips For Photographing Fireworks With Your Phone.
The archetypical fireworks, aerial shells climb up to the sky without much fanfare before exploding. The explosion, however, is magnificent, with colors radiating from a central point, making for a vibrant circle that lights up the sky. It’s no wonder these are often used in the finale of Fourth of July festivities.
Aerial repeaters are those fireworks that that explode into a few lines of color, before rapidly disappearing. They’re usually emitted rapid fire.
Unlike aerial shells and repeaters, cones emit fireworks from the ground up, spraying out displays of color that grow taller as the fuse continues to burn.
Fountains are quite similar to cones, but are usually accompanied by a series of whistles, crackles and other sound effects, and, unlike cones, remain at a similar height the entire time they’re burning.
Roman candles are those fireworks that remind you of popcorn, spraying little balls of flame every second or so. Once in the air, the flames bounce around in a whirly frenzy before disappearing.
Skyrockets aren’t known for one particular type of explosion. Many of the explosions they emit are similar to aerial shells, but they’re also responsible for the explosions that resemble, yup, dandelions.