It’s a summer night. You’re sitting on the beach with loved ones, a chocolate-covered banana in hand, watching a series of fireworks paint the sky right before your eyes.

A swarm of people surrounds you, applauding after each explosion rings out. Many are dressed in yukata, the summer kimono whose prints often mimic the colorful display above.

This exact scene (give or take the banana) is what summer has meant to generations of Japanese for hundreds of years. When night falls and the hot weather abates, revelers will head to the nearest beach or riverside to marvel at the spectacle of what are known here as hanabi (literally, “fire flowers”).