Category Archives: National Day

HONG KONG NATIONAL DAY EVENT 2015

WHAT: HUGE FIREWORKS DISPLAY IN HONG KONG
WHY: HONG KONG NATIONAL DAY
WHEN: THURSDAY 1st OCTOBER 2015
WHERE: VICTORIA HARBOUR, HONG KONG

On the 1st of October 1949 the People’s Republic of China was formed. This 9.6 million square kilometres area with a population of 1.35 billion has long been considered to be the cradle of civilisation having the most diverse landscapes and most complex economy in the world.

Each year the people of Hong Kong, main land China and Macau celebrate their favourite holiday period known as the ‘golden week’ when all Chinese enjoy 3 days of paid holiday. The event has been in effect since 1997 when Britain handed the area back over to China.

Last year, Golden Week across China, Hong Kong and Macau and the islands saw 480 million people travelling to friends, family etc.

Back in 2013, the island suffered a national tragedy when 39 people were killed when a ferry, the Lamma IV, was taking sightseers out to watch the commemorative fireworks display when it was hit by another ferry named the Sea Smooth. Sadly, the vessel went down so quickly, hundreds of spectators were thrown into the cold sea causing many injuries and deaths.

Due to this, a decision was taken to cancel last year’s fireworks as a mark of respect for the lost loved ones, but this year they will come back with a vengeance.

The display is expected to be one of the loudest, most extreme and hopefully most memorable shows to have been seen in the area, as plans are afoot to launch a mind-blowing thousand shells a minute, firing at a rate of sixteen shells a second for twenty-three minutes, the last-minute of the display is a closely guarded secret as this will be the mother of all finales as “something special” will take place, even our usual well-informed agents in Hong Kong have either been sworn to secrecy, or left out of the loop completely. All we know for sure is “it will resemble a war zone” and will be VERY loud.

Hotel rooms around the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade and the Avenue of stars have been reserved for a good while and the closer we get, the less likelihood there is of getting a room overlooking the firing area around the harbour.

With safety being of paramount importance, particularly in light of the last event, there will be the usual harbour cruises available which offer the best views of the fireworks but there will be fewer boats allowed on the water this year. Tickets for the cruises have already been snapped up, at an initial price of around 380 Hong Kong dollars but expect to pay up to triple this price as some tickets are being offered by the usual ticket touts that unfortunately accompany events of this magnitude.

Other good places to view the action from will be from the Hung Hom bypass between Salisbury road and Hung Hom road; this will be closed to traffic from 6pm on the 1st.

The Central Waterfront Promenade between the central star ferry pier and Admiralty is a great place to view the action, but again this popular spot fills up quickly so plan to get there early, locals regularly get there around noon, also take a portable radio with your as Radio FM will be transmitting the synchronised music on 96.7-98.6 for anyone not near enough to the many speakers positioned along the harbour for the evening.

In Wanchia, the Hong Kong convention centre and Bauhinia square are also great viewing points with no cost.

For those with a little more cash to splash, the Ocean Terminal car park will be open to the public with 4 tickets costing a cool HK$ 1000.

Top tips: take plenty of food and drink, plan an exit route as when the event is over 100,000s of spectators will be making their way home all together so expect delays on public transport (although extra provisions have been made, it is never enough). Obviously, a camera or video camera and spare batteries, but most all enjoy.

National Day (国庆节)

SINGAPORE NATIONAL DAY FIREWORKS

WHAT: SINGAPORE NATIONAL DAY CELEBRATIONS
WHERE: THE PADANG, MARINA BAY, SINGAPORE.
WHEN: THURSDAY 6th AUGUST 2015

On the 6th of August 1965, Singapore became independent from Malaysia and 2015 marks the 50th (Golden) Anniversary of Independence.

For the last few months over 2000 people have been rehearsing day and night for the main parade which will last around 50 minutes. Before the big day arrives the marching and military bands will have fine tuned their displays to perfection in readiness for the parade which will take place by the Padang seating area. The Presidential gun salute will be fired from one Fullerton/Merlion Park and the pledge will be taken at the floating platform near to Helix Bridge.

With a golden theme throughout the show, this will be the biggest ever display to mark their national day.

Fired from two huge barges moored in the bay and for the first time the Adelphi and Swissotel buildings will be fitted with pyrotechnics. Five other landmarks will also be part of the show: The Suntel Tower 1, the Pan Pacific Building, UOB Plaza 1, Republic Plaza and the Maybank Tower. This amount of sky coverage will offer the crowds in the bay a 360° view of the action where the fireworks will be fired from the top and sides of the sky scrapers overlooking the bay.

Singapore National Day Fireworks 2015-2

The main barge floating in the bay, at a massive 300 metres in length will feature heavily in this spectacular show as a rainbow arc effect not seen before has been specially designed to thrill the masses.

As the show comes to its climax, showers of gold will be fired high towards the crowds sat in the Padang seating area with an extra special golden jubilee shell fired from its own barge. The event is sponsored by the Singapore Tourist Board with a budget of over a million Singapore dollars and it promises to be one of the best shows yet.

Here at epic fireworks we are looking eagerly forward to the 6th of August when we will be able to witness the fireworks spectacle with the power of the internet.

In the meantime, here is a taster of last year’s event.

SWISS NATIONAL DAY FIREWORKS

The 1st of August sees the good people of Switzerland celebrating in the usual way with sausages, red and white adornments and of course BEAUTIFUL FIREWORKS.

The date comes from 1291, when the people of three alpine cantons (think – counties) swore an oath of confederation; these were Schwiz, Uri & Nidwald forming what we now know as Switzerland.

The Swiss love their fireworks, especially when the huge bursting fireworks reflect on the snow associated with the stunning alpine scenery giving the whole backdrop a beautiful glow of crisp bright colours. This year however, the Swiss are basking in a heatwave with temperatures hitting 38 degrees, which is a real scorcher for the high altitude region, which would normally expected to average around 25 degrees at this time of year. This being the case the cautious Swiss government has imposed firework restrictions in six cantons or areas to prevent wildfires. The affected areas are Basel-Stadt, Solothurn, Vaus, Valais and Grissons with Schaffhausen having a ban of open fires in place for now.

On the 1st of August, a National Holiday, the Swiss kick back and relax watching paper lantern parades, sit around a huge bonfire watching fireworks or take part in the many rifle and crossbow shooting competitions and in honour of William Tell.

Fireworks @ Swiss National Day

The story goes that in 1307, Albrecht Gessler, the local overlord; hung his hat on the top of the town of Uri’s flag pole demanding that all the townsfolk bow to the hat. However, on the 18th of November 1307, William and his son Walter visited the town but refused to ‘bow to the hat’ and were arrested. Gessler had heard of William’s fabled skill with a crossbow and devised a cruel punishment; both would be put to death, or they could redeem themselves if William would shoot an apple off his son’s head in one shot – which he did!! When asked why he had removed two bolts from his quiver he told Gessler if he had hit Walter the second was for him!

At this point Gessler arrested William and instructed the guards to take him to Kussnacht castle by boat. While on route to the Castle, a huge storm arose. The guards, fearing for their lives, untied William so he could help steer the boat with his great strength. No sooner had they relieved him of his chains, William jumped overboard to escape. Of course, as mentioned, Tell was still holding the second bolt and later killed the imbecile Gessler for his troubles.

Whilst fireworks are restricted in six cantons, this still leaves twenty without restrictions where fireworks can be used freely if you have purchased a licence. For the more powerful (cat 4) public display fireworks a week’s course (plus exam pass) must have been completed with a fee of 5000 Swiss francs or £3500 for Cat 3 (1.3 &1.4) fireworks a permit of 500 francs will suffice.

The biggest displays across Switzerland will be in Zurich, Geneva and Lugano with the main Swiss National day celebration fireworks at The Rhine Fall’s in Schaffhausen – weather permitting of course.