From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia
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The Firecracker is an item in the PC release of Mario's Time Machine. It is given to a time-traveling Mario by a writer in Luoyang circa 105. As the two are talking to each other, the writer tells Mario to keep the secret of manufacturing paper quiet. He then gives Mario the Firecracker (something that is very loud) as a "reminder of what not to do." Meanwhile, emperor Ho Ti is bored, and is willing to give Mario some Money if he entertains him. The Firecracker is then given to the emperor, who appreciatively takes it and gives him the Money as promised. The emperor also mentions that he enjoys making the sky explode to scare the nearby nobles.