Incense Fireworks – Senko Hanabi
A typical scene seen in parks and beaches around Japan during Summer is this:
Senko hanabi 線香花火 is difficult to translate but it would be something like “fireworks of incense sticks”. In reality the fireworks don’t have incense but they are very similar to incense sticks in shape and size, thus the name. Senko hanabi are sticks with a small amount of powder which doesn’t blow up and lights up with fire of diverse colours during some seconds. To play with senko hanabi is fun and not dangerous at all.
People say that lighting up a senko hanabi and seeing its light go away instantly in the darkness will make you feel closer to the ephemera of things (Mono no aware 物の哀れ) and will help you being more sensitive to the transience of our lives.