Hanabi: The meaning behind the celebration

MILAMORE’s newest collection is based on the Japanese fireworks tradition of Hanabi. In Japanese, “Hana” means “flower” and  “bi”  means “fire”, so “Hanabi” roughly translates to  “fire flowers” which is an apt description of the magnificent shows that are put on during the months of July and August. The tradition hails back to 1700s when fireworks were not just used as entertainment but they were also believed to ward off evil spirits. These fireworks are an integral part of summers in Japan, and many firework shows are held throughout the summer.

One could easily see similarities between the Hanabi celebrations of Japanese summers, and the Fourth of July celebrations in the United States. However, Japanese fireworks displays tend to look a lot different than those seen in the states. Japanese firework shells range in size from smaller ones to the world record holding Yonshakudama shells which are 1.2 meter in diameter and weigh several hundred kilograms. The most common are starmines, which are spherical shells that have a variety of burst patterns. Other unique fireworks include Niagara sparklers that are set under bridges and resemble the famous waterfalls, and formed shells that burst into familiar shapes such as hearts, smiley faces and cartoon characters. Japanese fireworks displays tend to have more organic shapes and a subtle beauty to them. Contrasted with American fireworks displays which are typically over-the-top with various abstract shapes, sounds, and colors.

Woodblock print of the Hanabi fireworks displays from the late 17000s by artist Utagawa Hiroshige

The Hanabi collection is an idea that has been in the making for years! George was inspired to create this collection by the “Hanabi Matsuri“, firework festivals that he attended as a teenager in Japan. Our Hanabi Diamond Charm took 3 years start to finish in order to embody the spirit of the Hanabi celebration. Each diamond pendant is set so that there is movement and the charm comes to life shimmering and sparkling. You can also attach our charms together to create your own unique Hanabi display! This collection allows you to create your own celebration using charms, earrings and rings.

(Left) George’s initial sketch for the Hanabi Earjacket
(Right) Hanabi Candy Earjacket
(Left) George’s initial sketch of the Hanabi Pearl Charm
(Right) The Candy Hanabi Pearl Charm

I wanted the Hanabi Collection to capture the fireworks from spark to full bloom, as well as the melancholy feeling of witnessing such fleeting beauty. The Hanabi Matsuri festivals are some of my favorite memories from living in Japan”

– George Inaki Root, CEO & Creative Director

The staple of this collection is our stud earrings. Handcrafted in white and yellow gold, as well as in petit and medium, these earrings are a must have as they accentuate the ear with just a touch of sparkle. We also have our double diamond stud ear jacket and our triple diamond ear jacket which are perfect to mix up your look and have your own Hanabi celebration on your ear! Simple, elegant and full of sparkle!

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