These two look similar (they even have the same name) but they’re actually very different firecrackers. Crazy Bang is just a marketing moniker – a wrap around the salutes. It doesn’t really mean anything – chai lei was called Pop Pop (the contact firecrackers kids play) one year.
The large one is actually the original Thunder King while the smaller one is the new Thunder King. It’s a very “Luke, I am your father” moment. It’s really hard to find the old ones nowadays.
Original Thunder King a.k.a. Caucasian dick
It has an OD (Outer Diameter) of more than 1 inch. 3 cm to be exact.
It is almost half a foot long – 14.5 cm.
New Thunder King a.k.a. Asian dick
Diameter of less than 1 inch – about 2.3 cm. You can’t really go much smaller than this for loud salutes.
The length is nearly 4 inches. It’s 9.5 cm.
Of course, the size doesn’t mean a thing – it’s the flash powder charge inside and how it’s constructed that determines how powerful and loud it is so I have here…a side by side test!
I lit both of the Thunder King salutes within close proximity of each other (but not so close that the first blast will send the other firecracker flying) and recorded it while I stood in the middle.
It sounds almost similar but the original Thunder King has more flash powder inside and you can actually feel the strength of the salute as it sends flying debris around. You can see that in the video. The originals are the bane of schools everywhere as kids tape it inside toilet cisterns with a time delay (usually a mosquito coil) and breaks it.
There was one memorable year where the girl’s toilet had more ruined cisterns that needed replacing when I was in high school. I know the girl who did it. Heh.
I remember these things from the days of pull string crackers. Black snakes are novelty fireworks that doesn’t do anything except grow in size…exponentially.
It comes in a packet that has a roll of 6 black tablets. You can set each of the tablets on fire individually and a large roiling snake-like thing will emerge from the black mists of creation…or you can just light the entire twist of black snakes to create a gigantic one.
I opted for the latter and you can see the results here. I didn’t unwrap the roll, I just lit the ends of the twist and it burned and hissed and formed into a long and huge snake.
Putting this and a lighter in your pocket will give new meaning to the line “Is that a snake in your pants or are you just happy to see me?”.
It is woefully fragile though and breaks up when you touch it. Even a gust of wind will shake it as the video shows. This is one of the retro fireworks that turned up this year – it’s fascinating to watch a giant black snake grow from a small pellet.
It totally blew my mind when I was a kid to see that happen. :)
I was playing with firecrackers the day before when some kids from down the street came over. They very unselfconsciously asked if they could watch and I said sure, but told them to stand back coz I was lighting some huge aerial salutes then.
One of them asked if they could play with my firecrackers and I let them fire off the the stash I brought out. I helped them light it and watched very closely as they did, telling them to be careful.
The smallest one was probably around 7 years old or so – at that age I was playing with loud salutes like chai lei so when he asked if he could light one himself, I let him have the lighter and stood beside him while he lit the fuse.
I believe with proper supervision, kids can learn how to let firecrackers off safely, like how I did when I was their age. I even let the smallest one light one of the large Crazy Bang salutes. I had to hover over him while he did it and tell him not to touch the firecracker while lighting it though.
It was very tiring having to babysit but the smiles on their faces and their glee from the unadulterated fun they had was worth it. All three of them were enthusiastically taking turns to let off the firecrackers. I like them – very polite kids, thanked me for the experience.
They came *running* back last night when they saw me playing with fireworks and together we finished up most of the stuff I got.
It was one of the most memorable Chinese New Year experiences I’ve had this year. :)
This is one of the fireworks that I used to play with when I was a kid. I haven’t seen it around for *ages*. The most interesting bit about the complex (in the sense that it’s not a simple salute) build is that it behaves more or less like a tank.
It has wheels that actually work and the fuse propels it forward in a surprisingly sudden fast turn and it emits a spray of sparks (which I imagine is the flamethrower) before the grand finale – at the very end the tank actually fires it’s main gun.
Tame stuff, but nostalgic. This cardboard tank spits out an arcing ball of fire which travels a short distance and explodes on the ground.
It’s very cute actually. The video shows the firework tank in action – during the heydays before the firecrackers and fireworks ban, there were lots of nifty and creative fireworks like this.
It has become a tradition that we have dinner at my grandma’s place on Chinese New Year eve before everyone plays blackjack. My uncles used to be the dealers when I was a kid but as that generation passed on, I’ve become the dealer and all my cousins come over to my grandma’s house to play.
It’s small stakes only, just to pass the time until about 11 pm before I get ready to let off the firecrackers and fireworks. Thus, I ended up with this stack of 100 x RM 1 bills. I exchanged RM 100 for this and it’s in mint condition and still has the band on it.
You can see the start of the serial number – ACJ7895101
…up to ACJ7895200 – exactly 100 pieces of RM 1 notes.
I also had a special jackpot giveaway where you can automatically win RM 20 from the dealer (that would be me) if you get “2012” e.g. three cards – two 2′s and a 10. It’s all for fun, just money changing hands.
I only realized I’m up by RM 13 when I went to exchange the notes for proper ones.
It’s the most popular firecrackers around. Shun Lee Hung firecrackers. The yellow boxes of Chinese firecrackers that goes for RM 15 each. You can’t go wrong with these…but then again it’s helluva boring to wait for the tiny plinks and plonks while the 3,000 individual firecrackers go off.
…so how do we spice it up?
Just open the box, drag the first strip out as a “fuse” and keep the rest in the box.
Don’t hang it up.
LIGHT IT UP!
Imagine the stacked firecrackers going off all at once. It’s fast. It’s furious. It’s fun.
I only let off Chinese firecrackers on:
Chinese New Year Eve before reunion dinner
Chinese New Year 12:00 midnight
Chinese New Year 1st day before you head out in the morning for family visitations
Of course, there are many times you can actually do that, those are just three personal *musts*.
The acrid smell just reminds me of childhood. It’s a connection to the past.
Yes, there is commentary from my extended family. This was taken at my grandma’s place. It’s part of Chinese New Year. :)
Optional: You can pick up the banner with *insert prosperous couplet* (that I can’t read) and hang it on your gate if you want.
Setting out the fireworks and firecrackers for tonight to dry out in the afternoon sun for the last time. Yes, this actually has a logical basis behind it. I’ll explain some other time. Heh.
Went to see Ah Beng The Movie – a Malaysian production. It’s a Chinese New Year movie, wanted to catch one before the reunion dinner later. Anyway, the ticketing counter wrote Cineplex 2 on the stub and we waited until 3:10 pm and finally went to ask at the counter if the movie’s starting.
It turns out it was at Cineplex 3. The person made a mistake. I complained and the person at the counter gave us RM 7 tickets instead of RM 9 – got RM 2 each back and got the RM 7 “movie night” tickets instead. I was pissed off coz I hate missing the start of movies but that’s the best they could do. Oh well, that’s Sibu for you.
It’s CNY eve so it was good to catch a CNY movie. :)
I’m about to head out for the extended family reunion dinner. I’m bringing some Chinese firecrackers along, it’s a tradition to let it off before the dinner. I can hear my neighbors already – the sound of firecrackers going off is almost unbroken, everyone starts burning the long Chinese fireworks before the CNY eve dinner.
My dad filmed me playing with this old skool traditional triangle shaped fireworks. It’s called Judas Belt in the Philippines when it’s in a long string, but we get single ones over here – the Chinese name translates to “triangle firecrackers”. I do not recommend you play with firecrackers like I do, I’m actually pretty blase about these things coz I’ve been letting them off for as long as I can remember.
The video is actually quite funny, you can hear my dad’s commentary. Heh.
The Chinese New Year eve reunion dinner! This is my grandma. I really like her. She’s one of those people that’s cheerful and jovial against all odds. Always love spending time with her when I’m back.
We’re Heng Huas and one cultural thing about the CNY eve dinner is that we don’t eat rice. We eat longevity noodles tossed with lard. It’s not the Foochow type where you eat it in soup – that’s actually totally not cool with Heng Huas coz eating soup during the reunion dinner is supposed to make it rain.
Heng Huas eat dry longevity noodles tossed with lard and some deep fried shallots for the reunion dinner. I love the stuff, it’s very flavorful and tastes good with the dishes. That’s one of my favorite on the plate – braised pork with fatt choy (it’s a type of bacteria, seriously).
I’ve always made it a point to get some fireworks every year during Chinese New Year to properly get into the festive spirit. I have a lot of photos of the variety available this year at the store but I took it using my iPhone, which was stolen during CNY so I’m left with the ones taken using the digicam I used to film this year’s pyrotechnics. T_T
No matter – even though my budget for firecrackers and fireworks this year is significantly reduced, I still managed to get some gems.
25 shot cake configuration (RM 100)
This 25 shot cake contains 5 different types “effects” in a cake configuration. You’ll notice that this is taller than the other one – the reason for the height merely indicates how high it will go. Taller cake configurations shoots the conflagration higher up in the sky while more compact ones goes lower.
It also has a larger diameter, which allows for bigger fireworks. However, the optimal viewing angle has to be taken into account – you’ll need to be further away to fully appreciate this without craning your necks. The shorter ones can be let off at a lesser distance and it still goes high enough so you can admire the bursts of color and sound.
Here’s the video of this firework in action. It’s rather disappointing since the next one (which is half the price) produces a better effect. I’ll give this a pass next year.
49 shot cake configuration (RM 50)
This beautifully made firework cake produces 7 different type of effects with an amazing ending. Kudos to the manufacturer for this impressive display.
This is the video of this cake – there’s a nice variety among the shots and the climax is beautiful. I’ll say this is the best value for money this year.
This comes highly recommended and I’ll be getting more of this next year. :)
2” display shell (RM 15)
This is a consumer grade firework that shoots out 2 inch shells instead of the usual 1.5 inch ones. I was very surprised at the price since a similar looking 1.5” display shell was going for RM 30.
It contains 6 individual shells which you put into a disposable cardboard launcher (included) before lighting the fuse.
This is what it looks like – you can see that I accidentally burnt my fingers on the fuse in the video. Heh!
I finally realized why this box of “fireworks” is so cheap. It’s not fireworks at all – the 1.5” display shells launches with a burst of color while this just produces a sound.
It’s basically just a glorified firecracker but for the price and the sonic effect, I can’t complain.
The only downside to the cylindrical design is that sometimes the entire shell does not eject, leaving the cylinder still inside the launcher. This can be a Bad Thing (TM) if you don’t realize it coz if you put another one in, it’ll stack up and run the risk of blowing up on the ground.
I’ll still buy this for the bargain basement price but be sure to check the launcher after you let one off to see that the shell has been fully ejected.
Anyway, I got this idea to play Jackass Badminton during Chinese New Year – this requires two people with two rackets. One person lights the firecracker and serves, and you both hit the burning firecracker with your badminton rackets until it explodes. I didn’t get to play it but Willie managed to find some original Thunder Kings when this idea was conceived.
Thunder King / Crazy Bang
This is what the original Thunder Kings are like – it’s a huge ass firecracker with much more flash powder and explosive potential than other similar high grade firecrackers (e.g. chai lei, da di lei gong etc).
Interestingly, this time it’s labeled Crazy Bang and it is ALSO called da di lei kong (literally “gigantic earth thunder”) in Chinese. It comes in a pack of 5. There is no fuse visible – you’ll have to break the paper at the top to pull the fuse out.
Check out the video of this baby.
Despite the similarity in name to Da Di Crackers, this is much more powerful than the red ones. It’s exactly the same as Thunder King with the base removed.
Intense. I remember people using this during my schooldays with a delayed fuse (usually a mosquito coil) in the toilets to break the cistern. Pity the fool who is taking a dump when one of this goes off.
Chap Goh Meh marks the last day of Chinese New Year and traditionally sees the whole family sitting down for dinner. Unfortunately, none of our family members are in one place this year so my grandma did an early one with all of my favorite dishes.
I’ve always loved fish cooked with soy sauce. I can’t remember the name of this fish but it’s kinda like empurau in texture.
Century eggs are one of my favorite condiments…however, I only tend to eat it in Sibu for some reason. I love the rich egg yolk and it’s an instant appetizer for me. :)
This is hands down my favorite vegetable. It’s called chai bo and cooked with a bit of sugar so the taste is slightly sweet. It’s one of the rare foods that hits the umami G-spot and I can eat a spoonful with every bite. I love this and I could never find it anywhere else except at my grandma’s. It’s her specialty. <3
Pork leg with chicken feet. This unique combination turned up at the table during the Chinese New Year reunion dinner with fatt choy (black moss) and I was instantly hooked! I love the texture of pork leg – the chunky meat and exquisitely sinful layer of fat is divine. The pairing with chicken feet is quite ingenious – it’s the brainchild of one of my aunties. It takes hours to cook so everything comes out tender and juicy.
I ate so much I nearly burst but I’m so hungry right now it makes me want to repeat this gastronomic feat again. Home cooked meals with your family is the best – I only get to experience this once a year.
I used to have a bit of a phobia with these crackers – it’s a double report affair, with the initial primer launching the entire cracker skywards before exploding with a loud bang. I’ve never thought of the initial blast as an explosion, it’s the second one that’s the real banger.
Once when I was a kid (with little fingers which would have been mutilated by more powerful firecrackers) one of these crackers collapsed when I lit it. I was in one hell of a dilemma – these things are supposed to shoot towards the sky (thus the name) – but it actually goes the direction it’s pointed to unless it’s firmly on its base.
Anyway, the fuse was going and I got my panties all in a twist thinking of whether to risk handling the toppled cracker and put it upright, or let it be. If I had let it be it would have gone into my house and maybe shattered a window or two so in the end I did a bit of a compromise and kicked it into the drain.
Now, this puts a totally new spin (no pun intended) on things – the second and more powerful blast will go where the cracker is oriented so it’s a bit like Roulette. Luckily both explosions happened in the drain but that scared me more than a little. As I grew older we took to lighting the cracker and throwing it into the sky and dodging the second blast as it came down, it was the sort of stupid fun we got up to during Chinese New Year and neighbors hated us. Heh!
I grabbed a pack when I went fireworks shopping during CNY eve to see if it’s still like what I remembered from my childhood.
The funniest thing is near the end of the video when I got startled by the cracker while my mom was a cool as a cucumber, still steady with the digicam. Haha!
Anyway, I haven’t played with these for a long time and the problem with it is that the initial report (which launches the cracker into the sky) is a propellant of sorts…and it’s HIGHLY (no pun intended) variable. Made in China, yo!
It usually goes up to 12 feet or more but this one barely made 7 feet (judging from the lamp post) and had a diagonal flight path so I was apprehensive and recoiled at the report. I still find it hilarious.
The weird thing is, as a kid you remember these crackers as being one of the loudest things on earth but as you grow older the sound seems…diminished. The sonic effect isn’t what I remembered from my youth.
…or maybe I’m just going deaf from blasting music from headphones.