Depending on sources, the tradition of this fireworks comes from the Edo people who enjoyed admiring them while enjoying the cool of summer nights, or else from the Suijin festival created during the reign of the 8th Tokugawa shogun in the 18th century. Dedicated to the deity of waters, it aimed at calming down the souls of those dead from the famine or epidemics, and keep the latter away.
The viewers yelling "Kagiya!" and "Tamaya!" dates back to the Edo period when people were cheering the main firework makers by shouting their names. The festival lived on after the Meiji restauration and until the early 20th century when it started to disappear because of the too important traffic and the many buildings that were rising. It was organized again from 1978 and became the Sumidagawa Hanabi Taikai (river Sumida fireworks), one of the major events of Tokyo’s summers.