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International Fireworks Competition Hannover © C. Maier / Pyrophotos

The world’s best pyrotechnicians compete against each other in the Great Garden.

Int. Firework Competition

(Press-)Information and rules

Here you will find general information including the rules of the International Fireworks Competition in Hannover.


The International Fireworks Competition in Hannover is an internationally renowned contest which was held for the first time in 1991. The Royal Gardens of Hannover Herrenhausen function as the event’s venue. On five evenings during May and September, pyrotechnists from all over the globe compete against each other by performing their firework choreographies with matching musical compositions for the compulsory and the free part. The organizer of the competition is the Hannover Veranstaltungs GmbH (HVG).


The rules of the International Fireworks Competition are clearly defined: the fireworks display has to last a total of approx. 25 minutes and include a four-minute compulsory section. For the freestyle program there are no regulations regarding the choice of music. When planning the displays, the teams are asked to take their cue from the baroque gardens. They have to include a specified number of ground elements, but other than that there are very few restrictions with regards to their inventiveness and imagery. The jury awards marks for criteria such as technical execution, technical perfection, the quality and variety of the different effects and the synchronicity of music and fireworks. About one hour prior the beginning of the fireworks the back area will be closed to the public. Due to security reasons the burn-off-fireing-place will be closed off.

Cabaret, dance and drama

On five evenings throughout the summer, some of the world’s most respected fireworks experts come to the Great Garden, where they compete to present the world’s best pyrotechnic spectacle in a compulsory and free section. A highly diverse supporting programme of live music, cabaret, dance and drama to tie in with the nation of the competing team sets the mood for visitors, making the night an experience they will never forget. This splendid baroque setting of Herrenhausen makes this International Fireworks Competition a unique occasion.

Patterns of light against a deep blue sky

As darkness slowly descends over the broderie pattern beds in front of the restored summer residence, the suspense of the spectators becomes almost tangible until finally, the first fireworks light up the deep blue night skies, creating an endless series of amazing patterns. Fantastic colour splashes, sparkling chrysanthemums, thoroughly composed sunbursts that rain down in precise parabolas – all ingeniously choreographed in perfect time to the music and guaranteed to exert an endless fascination on spectators of any age. This evocative event first took place more than two decades ago and is the oldest fireworks competition in Germany. The winner of the five participating nations is decided on the last night of the competition.

Great Garden © HMTG