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RINGING IN 2018 WITH THE REST OF THE WORLD

RINGING IN 2018 WITH THE REST OF THE WORLD

The UK fireworks were of course beautiful but how did the rest of them do? Of course, being in the Northern Hemisphere and a good 12 hours plus behind in reaching the magical midnight hour, we thought you might enjoy a bit of a run down of some of the best and worst fireworks for New Year from the rest of the World.

Here is a quick look around the world as it happened:

NEW ZEALAND – The first up of the big display specialists is usually New Zealand. The launch site for the majority of their pyro is from the iconic Sky Tower which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary. The display was under the control of 6 specialist pyrotechnicians who took 350 hours to set up on site. There were 3000 shots fired during the 6 minute show and a really pretty laser countdown but I have seen many awesome displays both from around the world and of course closer to home for celebrations but before 30,000 visitors, it was, in my opinion a little lacklustre.

AUSTRALIA – There was a countdown in the centre of the bridge which was truly captivating, and the fireworks were nothing short of breath-taking. Clean, crisp, precise and lots and lots of pyro going up with some MASSIVE ghost shells.

Although the firing sites were widely spread (bearing in mind that Sydney Harbour is 55km squared) there was still a level of symmetry that some of the other countries could learn a thing or two from. Lengthy, beautiful and above all a magical welcome to 2018 from Australia.

SOUTH KOREA – This beautiful little country had just a small smattering of pyrotechnics, launched from the Lotte World Tower, the 5th tallest building in the world.

NORTH KOREA – Now to the other end of the spectrum, the fireworks for the capital Pyongyang were very good indeed. This has to be one of the most talked about countries in the World at the moment and the leader is nothing short of crackers but the fireworks provided some much needed joy for the gathered crowds and were surprisingly understated, precise and actually very pretty indeed.

HONG KONG – The display in Victoria Harbour is sponsored by the Hong Kong tourism board and of course being the home of fireworks great things were expected. It started out as a number have this year with as laser show. When the midnight hour struck, there was a rousing sing along to auld lang syne.

The pyrotechnics were beautiful and at the outset all was precise and symmetrical but after a while it was just pure mayhem with all manner of effects being launched randomly at the same time. It was reported that the fireworks were the responsibility of a European firework specialist which appeared a little odd, given the location. Whilst it most certainly brought the new year in with a huge bang, it was not uniform enough for my personal taste so it is not amongst my favourites.

BANGLADESH – Given the economy of the country, nationally sponsored fireworks are quite probably very low on the list but Bangladeshi’s have a never say die attitude. New Years eve was an event which displayed their spirit and warm appreciation as they set off what looked like a couple of dozen of our big rockets to loud and rapturous applause.

INDIA – The site for the New Year celebrations in India was the All India War Memorial (AKA India Gate), built in memory of all the Indian soldiers who laid down their lives in WW1.

The display started with a laser show projected onto the facia of the memorial and showed images of their sacred animals, the mountains and of course all the beautiful colours of India. The familiar sound of Dholi drums can be heard throughout along with spontaneous applause. Titanium salutes followed by slow falling bright white comets lit up the gate before huge shell bursts filled the skies with a crescendo of explosions – lovely!

MOSCOW – There are few prettier places to see than Moscow’s Red Square and the stunning St Basils Cathedral. The fireworks were beautiful and clearly from the sound of the partying and merrymaking, a good night was had by one and all. Absolutely stunning shell breaks but they were only launching for around 5 minutes but the end brocades of falling golden willows was awesome and no smoke!

GERMANY – The site for the celebrations over in Germany was the infamous Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. The gate has seen its fair share of worrisome historical events as well as the scene of massive change and hope following the unification of Germany in 1989. Today, the Brandenburg Gate is seen as the centre of peace and unity of the people of Germany and Europe.

The pyro was rich and varied and most certainly more impressive than some of the bigger countries with more than just the usual spherical shell breaks making for an entertaining display. The site was easy enough as it is at the bottom of a straight avenue and the structure of course, square which lends itself better to achieving a beauty and symmetry difficult in other countries. Well done Germany – lovely display.

A great start to 2018 and a very Happy New Year to everyone.

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