Funeral Fireworks & Ashes Scattering

This is becoming more common with families using fireworks either to celebrate a loved one’s life, or to scatter their ashes. This article explores the options.


Using fireworks to celebrate a loved one

If you want to use fireworks to celebrate the life of a loved one it is recommended to stick to a single large cake (sometimes referred to by retailers as a single ignition unit or display in a box). These can last 1-2 minutes which is usually more than enough time to enjoy the beauty of fireworks without making it overly long. It will also keep things simple since a single cake is easier to set up and let off. If your budget stretches to £100 then you’ll have the pick of the very best consumer fireworks on the market. However even £50 can obtain an excellent effect. Make it clear to the retailer when you are buying they are for a funeral or wake so they help pick the best one for you.

If you want a longer display then work through the other articles in this section, start with the General Advice guide.


Chinese lanterns

These are almost made for this type of occasion. Silent in operation and reasonably cheap (£3 or so each for good quality ones) they can create a beautiful and moody effect with several in the sky at once. If you are careful and use a soft tip pen you can also write dedications on the paper before unfolding them for launch.

Chinese lanterns followed by a single big cake gives the best of both worlds – beauty and grace from the lanterns then a big bang “send off”.


Scattering ashes with fireworks

These specialist services are offered by a small number of firework companies:

Ashes in a firework

A portion of the deceased’s ashes are spread into a big consumer firework, usually a cake or barrage. You light the cake as a normal firework and as each shot bursts, the ashes are scattered. Typical costs are normally £200-£300 for a single big firework which will last for around a minute.

Never attempt to dismantle a firework to put in the ashes yourself. This is highly dangerous and potentially illegal.

Ashes in rockets

Similar to the service above, a portion of ashes are put into a large display rocket. You light the rocket which will fly with a whoosh to several hundred feet where it bangs into a pretty effect, spreading the ashes. This is more spectacular than a barrage but much shorter in duration. Typical costs are £70-£100 per rocket.

Ashes in a professional display

Some professional display companies can scatter ashes on a larger scale with a big fireworks display. The overall effect will be a spectacular fireworks display with the added beauty of seeing your loved one’s ashes scattered in amazing style. Costs for this type of service are significantly greater so budget for around £1500 upwards.

Funeral Fireworks

A loved one’s ashes split into several fireworks at a professional display (left) and the moment they were fired by relatives and scattered over his resting ground (right)


Further information

You can read the full story behind the ashes scattering photos above in the RIP Peter Benefield feature. Peter was a fireworks lover who kindly allowed UKFR members full use of his pub’s extensive land for their St. George’s competitions.

If you need any further help feel free to ask in the busy UKFR Fireworks Forum although it is not a subject that often comes up.

Always give priority to UKFR advertisers and those listed on the Buy Fireworks page (find out why) when you are ready to source your funeral fireworks as several of them offer this service.  If you are opting for “self fire” items to spread the ashes, when you have purchased your fireworks head over to the Using Fireworks section for expert advice on how to set them up and let them off (the same advice applies to all fireworks irrespective of whether they contain ashes).

Heavenly Stars Fireworks

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