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Celebrate Chinese New Year

According to legend, about 2,000 years ago when a Chinese man cooking in a field accidentally mixed charcoal, sulfur and saltpeter in a bamboo tube. The mixture burned and then exploded. Gunpowder, and its ingredient potassium nitrate, is what sends the fireworks into the sky.

Here’s a fun and safe way to celebrate with your residents.

According to legend, about 2,000 years ago when a Chinese man cooking in a field accidentally mixed charcoal, sulfur and saltpeter in a bamboo tube. The mixture burned and then exploded. Gunpowder, and its ingredient potassium nitrate, is what sends the fireworks into the sky.

The process is the mixture is in a container, lit with a fuse that propels it into the sky where more gunpowder creating the second explosion that makes the firework pop in the sky. The colors of the fireworks are made by burning different metal salts. When you burn ordinary tables salt you will see a yellow flame.

You can’t set off fireworks in your building, but as an alternative indoor celebration you can do this fun, easy and safe experiment to light up residents’ eyes an curiosity.

Experiment – Create Safe “fireworks”

Materials: Pop rocks candy, clear Dixie cup, baking soda, red food coloring, lemon juice.

Process: Fill the glass half way with water and add the Pop Rocks. Add two teaspoons of baking soda and then three drops of red food coloring. Finally, add three teaspoons of lemon juice.

Result: The Pop Rocks start to ‘pop explode’ in the cup because carbon dioxide is released when they hit the water. The food coloring is just color, but the addition of baking soda, which is sodium bicarbonate, and lemon juice, which has a high concentration of citric acid will make the mixture rapidly bubble and flow out of the cup.

This is soooo safe that you can give your residents a real fun surprise and end the activity by drinking the potion!! It won’t be the best tasting drink. It’s NOT harmful.

The Chinese invented fireworks. Begining in the10th century were producing fireworks for Chinese New Year and other celebrations, using crackers to scare off evil spirits and promote prosperity.

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