Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Celebrations around the world involving fireworks

Firework displays are the centrepiece of many city celebrations. They are persistently bettered in size, colour and originality from one to the next. When moving to a new country, make sure that you do not miss out on the pyrotechnic displays around where you live.  

Sydney calls itself New Year’s Eve Capital of the world for a reason. At least 1.6 million people head to Sydney Harbour and over a billion people around the world turn on the TV to watch the city hail in the New Year before the rest of the world. Taking place against a backdrop of world famous landmarks, it has become one of the most iconic firework displays. As midnight struck on January 1st, 2013, seven tonnes of fireworks shot up from Sydney Harbour Bridge, barges in the harbour and city skyscrapers to create a 12 minute spectacular display.  The city hires a ‘creative ambassador’ every year to help organise the event.  This year’s ambassador is artist and musician, Reg Mombassa, who takes over from 2013’s Kylie Minogue. 

Image Source: Wikicommons

One of the world’s most beautiful firework displays has to be the Festa del Redentore held in Venice in mid-July which celebrates the end of a terrible plague which killed 50,000 Venetians in 1576. The fireworks are let off on the eve of the Feast of the Holy Redeemer. Preparations for the celebration begin early in the morning when people decorate their boats and wooden rooftop terraces from where they can watch the fireworks. At sunset, Saint Mark’s basin fills up with boats festively decorated with garlands and balloons. The fireworks are let off from pontoons and last for around an hour illuminating the picturesque canals and plazas of Venice.

Image Source: Flickr

Although celebrated worldwide, Chinese New Year firework displays are most impressive in China itself. In Ancient China, bamboo stems were filled with gunpowder to ward off evil spirits and this is still an integral part of the festivities. In February 2013, the Year of the Snake was welcomed with firework displays across China. Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour is one of the best places to see an impressive display. This year, over 300,000 people turned up to see in the New Year which saw 23,888 fireworks used in a 23 minute display above the city’s skyscrapers.

Image Source: Wikicommons

Firework displays are abundant in the US to celebrate Independence Day but Macy's Firework Spectacular in New York is often thought to be the best place to be on July 4th. The show can be seen across the Hudson River from numerous points throughout the city with a display using over 40,000 different types of fireworks. A star-studded soundtrack completes the extravaganza with famous artists adding to the awesomeness of the show.

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