Here's a wonderful article on firecrackers and fireworks.
Source: Midlife Crisis
Now that Christmas is behind us, it’s time to focus on the upcoming New Year - and that means stocking up on FIREWORKS! Okay, maybe it’s mostly a “guy thing” but firecrackers is something that we Baby Boomers grew up with.
Back in the day - on Oahu - we didn’t need no stinkin’ permit to purchase firecrackers. We just needed someone over 18 years of age. And it was simple then: Baby Camel or Checkerbombs. Oh yeah, and “cracker balls”. Do you remember cracker balls? Little colored balls about the size of a small jawbreaker. Came in a square box similar to the box that mosquito punks come in. Cracker balls were made out of what looked like paper mache and had little gray rocks inside them. We’d throw them on the concrete floor hard enough so they’d pop. Sometimes we’d have to give some stubborn ones a few overhand throws to the floor until they’d pop. I always wanted to try shooting them against a wall with a slingshot - but we weren’t allowed to have slingshots. I don’t know what ever happened to cracker balls. My dad said they looked too much like candy and little kids were getting hurt by biting on them - so they banned them.
Firecrackers aren't a big deal here in Canada. People usually just attend a midnight event and watch the fireworks shoot up into the sky. It's also usually -30C on New Years Eve so people tend to stay indoors.
It's a different story in Hawaii and in Asia as people buy firecrackers, light them, then run away covering their ears. Don't forget that in Asia there's also Chinese New Year which falls on January 26, 2009. So there's double the opportunity to blow your fingers off.