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Roman candles are a type of fireworks, with long, thick paper tubes that contain layers of "stars" and lifting charges.
A roman candle is constructed by the following method:
- load a layer of bentonite clay into the tube to close off the end.
- load a layer of lifting charge.
- load a pyrotechnic star.
- cover the assembly with a dusting of black powder.
- load a layer of delay powder.
- repeat until tube is full
- Many Chinese roman candles use clay instead of delay powder and run a length of fuse down the inside of the candle to time the lifts.
- Larger roman candles will usually add more lift to the highest layers and less to the lower layers in order to cause the stars to lift to the same altitude.
- Some really large candles will load comet shells instead of stars.