Pyrotechnics is an ancient art that involves the use of fire to create spectacular displays of light, sound, and color. The word pyrotechnics comes from the Greek words pyr, meaning fire, and technee, meaning art. It is a complex craft that requires careful handling of explosive materials and precise timing to create stunning fireworks displays. In this article, we will explore the world of pyrotechnics in Mexico, where this tradition has a rich history and a vibrant contemporary scene.
A Brief History of Pyrotechnics in Mexico
According to the most widespread version, gunpowder was discovered by the Chinese and brought to Europe in the 13th century. With its introduction to Mexico by the Spaniards in the 16th century, the development of pyrotechnics in our country began, with original Spanish and French influences, but it ended up becoming a preponderantly popular expression. From its origin, one of the main functions of this art of fire has been to keep away evil spirits, making it an essential part of popular festivities.
Mexican Pyrotechnic Artisans
Mexican artisans have excelled in pyrotechnics to such an extent that a municipality like Tultepec is identified and recognized in general for its proven skill in the manufacture of all kinds of fireworks. Tultepec would be one of the main suppliers of pyrotechnic products to most of the regions of the country.
However, many others also work in Almoloya de Juárez, Axapusco, Santiago Tianguistenco, Tenango del Valle, Ozumba, Capulhuac, Coyotepec, Tecámac, and Texcoco. In these locations, this delicate tradition has taken root, with the operation of "polvorines", workshops where this activity is carried out under rigorous surveillance due to the permanent possibility of accidents.
The Importance of Pyrotechnics in Mexican Festivities
Pyrotechnics plays a vital role in Mexican festivities, and without it, our notion of popular festivity would be entirely different. From bulls, castles, canastillas, judas, colored lights, rehiletes, bombs, waterfalls, whistlers, rockets, flying lights, doves, and all kinds of rockets, pyrotechnics adds another dimension to the popular festivities. It is a way to celebrate the joy and vitality of Mexican culture and to bring communities together.
Pyrotechnics Safety Measures
It's essential to note that pyrotechnics are not without risk. Accidents can happen, and safety measures must be taken to ensure that the artisans who produce them and the public who enjoy them are protected. The workshops where pyrotechnics are made are strictly regulated, and safety measures are taken to minimize the risk of accidents. The artisans who work in these workshops must undergo rigorous training to ensure that they handle explosive materials safely.
Pyrotechnics is a fascinating art form that plays an essential role in Mexican culture. The artisans who create these spectacular displays of light, sound, and color are true masters of their craft. From the ancient traditions that inspired the art of fire to the contemporary scene, pyrotechnics in Mexico is a vibrant and dynamic world that celebrates the joy and vitality of Mexican culture. As we celebrate our popular festivities, let us not forget the importance of safety measures and the need to protect those who make these celebrations possible.
In-Text Citation: Artesanía Mexiquense, La Magia De Nuestra Gente. 1st ed., Mexico, Gobierno del Estado de México, 2006.