Particles in Cycles: what renders, what doesn't?

I’m trying to retrofit Gottfried Hofmann’s amazing fireworks for a scene I’m rendering in Cycles, but it’s pretty rough going given how heavily the look depends on halo particles. (Line particles too, don’t seem to render?) I’m mostly just converting halo to emissions-material objects, cranking up the emission number and counting on motion blur to do the rest, which seems kind of hacky.

As a Blender newbie, I’m a little lost on where Cycles currently is relative to particle support and might be doing this completely ass-backwards. Is there a better way?