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Roman Candle

Noun: A firework consisting of a tube that sends out a shower of sparks and a succession of balls of fire.

So why is a Roman Candle Firework Called Roman? Despite the fact that we originally used to call these devices "Polish Candles," for some reason that name has not caught on yet. So, why were these devices called "Roman candles" to begin with?

It seems that as far back as the early 1800's, both French and Italian authors were using the term "Roman candles" to describe such devices. Since Italy was one of the countries which greatly influenced the development of fireworks, it is not very surprising that one of its most prominent fireworks devices would have its name associated with its greatest city, and the name of its once-sprawling empire.

Traditionally, a Roman candle has been thought of as a single-tube fireworks device which fires multiple, consecutive shots of projectiles skyward, and which emits a fountain-like spray of sparks between shots.

Those projectiles can be individual firework stars, comets with various colours and effects, single crossette comets, mine-shots of multiple stars, combination star-and-report devices, or small aerial star shells.

Most barrages on sale in the UK today are created from a number of ‘roman candles’ which are literally glued together to make a cake. If they are to be a fan cake, the roman candle tubes are fixed at an angle to give the desired fanned effect.

If you have been on the Epic blog before, you may have seen the images from one of our recent visits to China showing the fireworks being made, which clearly shows how much of an art creating fireworks is and how this skill has been passed from father to son and mother to daughter for many years.

Here at Epic, we stock a massive selection of traditional Roman Candles as well as an array of barrages with something to suit everyone. We operate 7-days a week, 362 days of the year and are available to answer any questions that you may have relating to fireworks, choosing, setting up, what to do in the event of bad weather or indeed how to secure them. Give us a call anytime or drop an email over to us at and we will endeavour to get back to you asap. If you email and need one of us to call you back, please include your contact details in the message.

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