Catherine wheel

Shocking-pink Catherine wheels five feet in diameter were whizzing lethally through the air like so many flying saucers (OP28).

Catherine wheel


A firework which, while detonating, rotates like a pinwheel.


Named after Saint Catherine of Alexandria, who according to legend converted to Christianity during the reign of the emperor Maximus. At age 18, she offered to debate non-Christian philosophers and not only converted many by her arguments, but went on to convert the leader of the army and the empress when later they went to see her in prison. Catherine was then condemned to be tortured to death on a spiked wheel (an instrument of torture that consequently is also known as a Catherine wheel), but the wheel was miraculously destroyed when she touched it (which is why the instrument of torture shares its name with the wheel-shaped firework). (NSOED, WEB LINKPatron Saints Index: Saint Catherine of Alexandria)


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