P1220410-Malta Fireworks Festival-WPRESS

Malta Fireworks Festival 2015

WHAT: Malta International Fireworks Festival 2015
WHEN: Saturday 25th April, Thursday 30th April & Saturday 2nd May 2015
WHERE: 3 sites around Malta’s coastal region

The Malta International Fireworks Festival started in 2004 in commemoration of Malta’s accession into the European Union and has continued to attract some of the biggest names in the Display Firework industry.

It is a pyro-musical competition which is organised by the Ministry for Tourism and the Malta Tourism Authority and is hugely popular both with the local residents and visitors to the Island alike.

Malta is a highly religious area and is recognised as one of the smallest and yet densely populated countries in the World. Predominantly Catholic the Island is claimed to be where Jesus’s apostle, Paul, was shipwrecked. It is also the site of the ancestral home of the Knights of St John who were protectors of the Island for more than 250 years and gave the island its famous ‘Maltese Cross’ and there are hundreds of military vestiges dotted around the islands (particularly around the coastal regions) including forts, watch towers, castles and huge impenetrable walls.

Since the launch of the competition the skills on show get better every year. The Maltese have used fireworks for religious festivals for hundreds of years so it is unsurprising that there are so many firework factories around.

The international competitors in this year’s festival are as follows:

Thailand Fireworks – Thailand
A P E di Parente – Italy

They will be joined in the competition by local display specialists:

St Mary’s Fireworks Factory – Ghaxaq
Lourdes Fireworks Factory – Qrendi
St Andrews Band Fireworks – Luqa

Last years very worthy winners were Pyrotex Fireworx from the UK and I particularly liked the impeccably timed sweeping slices and the purples and mint green’s made a refreshing change from the red, gold and green which are the dominant colours of any display.

In conjunction with this year’s international competition there will be holding a National event which is fiercely fought featuring some of the Islands best:

Lourdes Fireworks Factory – Qrendi
St Marys Fireworks Complex – Mgarr
Socjeta Piroteknika 15 ta Awissu – Mosta

The event is at one of three locations over the last week of April:

Saturday 25th April – Marsaxlokk
Thursday 30th April – Grand Harbour Valletta
Saturday 2nd May – Bugibba

If you are fortunate enough to be visiting this lush green isle, time it to coincide with this magical event and enjoy some of the best fireworks that Europe has to offer.

sky lanterns

Lantern Festival 2015

WHAT: Lantern Festival 2015
WHEN: Thursday 5th March
WHERE: East Asia
WHY: To Celebrate The End Of The Chinese New Year Holiday

The Chinese Lunar New Year is upon us and this is the Year of the Goat (or sheep).

There are many ‘significant’ events during the CNY festival including the previously mentioned reunion dinner but none more so than the Lantern Festival which takes place this year on the 5th March. The festival is celebrated in one format or another across Asia and in many western societies where large numbers of Eastern Asians reside.

Over in Hong Kong, the most westernized of Chinese areas, it has become something more akin to our Valentine’s Day as it is informally the day of couples spending time together walking in the parks or visiting the temple to view the messages of love on the lanterns. Lanterns are widely acknowledged as symbolizing ‘letting go’ of past issues and the main colour used for them is red which is a sign of good fortune in China.

The lantern festival always falls on a full moon and it marks the birthday of the ‘Heaven Officer’ who blesses and bestows good luck upon the humans. Legend has it that a bird flew down to earth from the heavens, sent to show its great beauty to the Chinese people. However, it was hunted for this beauty and the Jade Emperor was not happy and he sent his troops down to burn down the villages for their acts of defiance and cruelty. But, the daughter of the Jade Emperor warned the villagers of her father’s plans to destroy the village enabling them time to prepare. The people, in an attempt to prevent this from happening, set off loud firecrackers and fireworks, fires in the streets and hung red lanterns from buildings so that the emperor’s people would believe that their village was no more and report back, which they duly did. Phew … a legend is born.

Having had many names for this part of the New Year celebrations over the years, today it is called the Yuan Xiao Festival. Over in China almost every household eats Yuanxiao; which are small rice balls stuffed with either a sweet or savoury filling like peanut butter, candied sweet tangerine peel or sesame.

It is a time for reflection and gentle enjoyment and it is considered a day to relax and enjoy the beautiful gently floating lanterns and beautiful fireworks alongside traditional Lion and Dragon dances.

dxl (7)Courchevel - Festival international d'art pyrotechnique 2014-BLOG

Courchevel International Festival of Pyrotechnic Art

WHAT: Courchevel International Festival of Pyrotechnic Art

This year’s competition event in the stunning setting of the beautiful French Alps is the Courchevel International Festival of Pyrotechnic Art and the event keeps growing each year since its inception in 2003.

This majestic firework competition was won last year by the supremely talented Smart Pyrotechnics who beat out some of the longest established display companies across Europe to the prize with their absolutely amazing display, packed with effects from the outset.

The fireworks are scored on a number of factors including avoiding those terrifying ‘dark sky’ moments and of course ensuring that the display is well paced and has plenty of variety of effect, sound and of course choreography to music.

As you are probably well aware, I have a particular passion for symmetry which is one of the main aspects of the overall display the judges will be looking for alongside the music and its relativity to the pyrotechnics.

The fireworks competitors will display every Thursday evening at 6:45pm from the 12th February so this week sees Super Power from Poland showing their wares.

12 February GMT EVENT – Romania
19 February SUPER POWER- Poland
26 February PANDORA PYROTECHNIE – France

There are events throughout the ‘ski’ season and one of the most spectacular during this festival event is the one held by the ski instructors who start off the evening entertainment with torches aloft as they ski down the piste. There are all manner of pyro events – check out the video:

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