Fireworks Effects

Learn to Speak Pyro like a Pro with these Firework Effects definitions.

Study these Fireworks Effects and Learn to Speak Pyro like a Pro, so you can share your useless knowledge of Fireworks Effects with others.

As defined by Wikipedia…

Bengal Fire

A “Bengal fire” or “Bengal Light” produces a steady, vivid, blue-colored light. It is often made using combinations of potassium nitrate and copper compounds.


A cake is a cluster of individual tubes linked by fuse that fires a series of aerial effects. Tube diameters can range in size from 1⁄4″ to 4″, and a single cake can have over 1,000 shots. The variety of effects within individual cakes is often such that they defy descriptive titles and are instead given cryptic names such as “Bermuda Triangle”, “Pyro Glyphics”, “Summer Storm”, “Waco Wakeup”, and “Poisonous Spider”, to name a few.


The Chrysanthemum firework effect has a spherical break of colored stars with a very short burn time, then followed by crackling.


A Crossette is a “star” which quickly shoots outward in four directions from the initial comet, in a variety of colors, such as gold, silver, red, green, or white. When multiple crossette shells are fired simultaneously, the result is a mass of criss-crossing trails, hence the name “crossette“. Each star in a crossette shell has a small shot hole packed with an explosive powder that, when ignited, splits the star into four segments that propel outward.


The Dahlia is like a Peony shell, but with fewer and larger stars, which go farther before burning out. For instance, if a 3″ peony is made with a star size designed for a 6″ shell, it’s considered a Dahlia. Some Dahlia shells are cylindrical rather than spherical to allow for larger stars.


The Diadem is a type of Peony or Chrysanthemum with a center cluster of non-moving stars, usually with a strobing effect.

Falling Leaf

A Falling Leaf effect is a mine-shaped explosion that freefalls to the ground, as the name states, like a leaf.


Shells that have the property of launching the flaming debris in all different directions are known as Fish. What gives them their identities are the flares swarming in random directions.

Ground Bloom Flower

A barrel-like figure that releases a small flare with an ongoing thrust in order to rapidly spin and cause the illusion that it’s coming from all angles. As it spins, the color of the flame will usually change and often ends with an orange flame color (color of a burning hydrocarbon in oxygen).


Named for the shape of its break, the Horsetail shell has stars that leave behind a short tail.


“Kamuro”, 禿, is a Japanese word meaning “bobbed haircut”, which is what this shell looks like when fully exploded in the air. It explodes in a dense burst of glittering silver or gold stars which leave a heavy glitter trail and are very shiny in the night’s sky.


A Mine (aka. pot à feu) is a ground firework that usually shoots stars into the sky. Shot from a mortar like a shell, a mine consists of a canister with the lift charge on the bottom with the effects placed on top. Mines can also project small reports, serpents, or small shells. Although mines can hit 12″ in diameter, they’re usually 3-5″ in diameter.

Multi-Break Shells

A Multi-Break Shell, also called a Bouquet shell, This is a large shell containing smaller shells of various sizes and types. The first burst scatters the shells across the sky before they explode. When a shell contains smaller shells of the same size and type, the effect is usually referred to as “Thousands”. In Japan, they often use really huge shells (up to 48″)!


A shell containing a few large comet stars arranged so as to burst with large arms, producing a palm tree effect. Proper Palm shells feature a thick rising tail that displays as the shell ascends, simulating the tree trunk to further enhance the “palm tree” look. Some even have a burst of color inside the palm burst to simulate coconuts!


The Ring is a shell with stars specially arranged to create a ring-like shape. But, they don’t just do rings! Variations include smiley faces, hearts, and clovers.

Roman Candle

A Roman Candle is a long tube which shoots large stars at a regular interval. These are commonly arranged in fan shapes or crisscrossing shapes, at a closer proximity to the audience. Some larger Roman Candles contain small shells (bombettes) instead than stars.


Also called Maroon, Salute is a shell that makes a loud report rather than a visual effect. Salute shells usually contain flash powder, producing a quick flash, followed by a very loud boom! These shells range from 1″ to 5″ in diameter. Titanium may be added to the flash powder mix to produce a cloud of bright sparks around the flash. Large quantities of these are usually used during finales to create intense noise and brightness. A version called a Lampare uses a flammable liquid to create a fireball!


A shell containing a fast burning tailed or charcoal star that is burst very hard so that the stars travel in a straight and flat trajectory before slightly falling and burning out. This appears in the sky as a series of radial lines, much like the legs of a spider.


A Strobe effect is a series of quickly flashing stars that are used in Peony shells and Mines.

Time Rain

The Time Rain is comprised of large, slow-burning stars that leave a trail of large glittering sparks behind and make a sizzling noise. The “time” refers to the fact “rain” burns away gradually rather than all at once.


The Waterfall effect is something like a Horsetail, except the stars burn for a long time.


The Willow is like the Chrysanthemum, but has less of an ongoing flare after the shell’s ignition. In addition, the flame trails gradually extinguish, and in doing so, falls creating a willow branch-like effect.