American Holidays for Setting off Fireworks (Besides 4th of July)

Fireworks weren’t invented in the United States — but it is easy to argue that Americans have perfected the colorful explosions of light and sound. These days, there are roughly 19 varieties of fireworks, to include fireworks of different shapes, sizes, movement patterns and more, and there is no better time to see all 19 than on an American holiday.


American Independence Day, known colloquially as July Fourth, isn’t the only holiday when fireworks are warranted for a fun, fantastical celebration. Here are a few upcoming U.S. holidays for which you might want to buy fireworks online and set them off for friends and family:

Memorial Day

Celebrations to honor soldiers fallen in war are not new or uniquely American, but Memorial Day, celebrated on the last Monday in May, is the United States’ opportunity to remember and appreciate those who gave their lives to protect Americans’ liberty.

The first Memorial Day Celebration in the U.S. took place in Charleston, South Carolina, just after the end of the American Civil War, when roughly 1,000 citizens recently freed from enslavement joined with the U.S. Colored Troops to sing hymns, distribute flowers and consecrate a proper burial site for the Union dead. Three years later, Memorial Day became a national holiday, during which Americans are expected to decorate the graves of soldiers.

Today, not everyone visits cemeteries to honor the battle fallen, but most everyone remembers and appreciates their sacrifice during annual fireworks shows. You can tune into the federal pyrotechnics display for Memorial Day, usually broadcast in the evening on network channels.

Labor Day

Though many Americans recognize Labor Day as the beginning of football season, this holiday on the first Monday of September is meant to commemorate the social and economic contributions of workers. The first Labor Day took place on September 5, 1882, when New York City’s Central Labor Union marched 10,000 workers across the city and hosted a picnic, concert and night of speeches.

Though some Americans still use Labor Day to honor and appreciate the nation’s workers and union members, most see the holiday as an end to the summer season. As such, Americans tend to celebrate labor day with plenty of relaxation and time with loved ones — as well as fireworks, which are summertime staples.

Veterans Day

Unlike other days remembering important groups of Americans, Veterans Day is assigned a specific date: November 11. This is because Veterans Day began as Armistice Day, or the first day of peace following World War I. Besides the Civil War and Until World War II, the First World War claimed the largest number of American casualties, and due to the nature of the war, many of those casualties were severe and ghastly. The end of World War I was especially important to Americans, who did not want to waste more lives and limbs than necessary on that foreign engagement.

Though attempts were made in the 1970s to move Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October, so many Americans already associated their celebrations with Armistice Day that November 11 became established as a day for commemorating soldiers who have fought for our country. Though there are several types of salutes for veterans on Veterans Day, to include flyovers, cannon and gunfire and all manner of hymns and speeches, fireworks are some of the simplest and most enjoyable ways to honor vets.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Though not yet accepted as a national holiday, Indigenous Peoples’ Day is rapidly gaining awareness and appreciation in cities and states around the U.S. Celebrated on the second Monday in October as a replacement for Columbus Day — because Christopher Columbus was notoriously vile to the indigenous people of the Americas — Indigenous Peoples’ Day is meant to highlight the diversity and importance of our nation’s indigenous populations.

Though fireworks can be a fun way to recognize and celebrate indigenous peoples and cultures, it is equally important that Americans seek out other ways to honor indigenous populations. At the very least, Americans of non-Native descent should learn about the indigenous peoples who once lived on their current land, but listening to indigenous voices and fighting for indigenous rights are also impactful and rewarding ways to spend this holiday.

Fireworks have been associated with celebration since their creation in Ancient China centuries ago, but Americans have truly adopted pyrotechnics as their own way to relax, have fun, come together and remember. In truth, Americans don’t need an excuse to get fireworks; they just need to have good friends and good sense to stay safe.


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