We’ve been following the Chinese New Year fireworks displays, and came across this from Singapore. The show is being fired at Marina Bay. We love Marina Bay, great location for a big fireworks performance.
Looks like it was a lot of fun.
Thanks to Civil Reporter for the video.
And we loved this picture from Justin K.L Seah. Great shot. (Check out his Flickr stream).
There’s a lot of talk at the moment about ‘drone’ technology and what low cost camera-drones allow in terms of video production. One of the applications that has got us most excited is the ability to see a fireworks display from within.
This video was one of the first to be shot within a display itself and, with over 10 million views, it is still the yardstick to judge other efforts by.
We like the reverse footage at the end, nice touch!
As with any drone filming there are of course safety issues, but the relative low cost of drones at least makes it possible to contemplate filming from within the display itself. An amazing perspective
Chinese New Year arrives today (19th November – Gregorian calendar). There’s some debate as to whether it is the year of the ‘Goat’ or the ‘Sheep’ (or even the ‘Ram’) – hence the dreadful headline pun! But Wikipedia says it is ‘Goat’ so we are going with that.
Even if the animal is uncertain what is certain is that the New Year will be celebrated with fireworks and crackers.
We think most pyrotechnicians must be ‘Goats’ according to this description
They have very delicate thoughts, strong creativity, and perseverance, and acquire professional skills well. Although they look gentle on the surface, they are tough on the inside, always insisting on their own opinions in their minds. They have strong inner resilience and excellent defensive instincts.
Sounds to us like the qualities needed to successfully navigate the complex world of fireworks.
This is a great compilation that highlights why Japan has an outstanding reputation for pyrotechnics.
There are some very lovely fireworks shells demonstrated in this display.
What it highlights is that Japanese shows are less about the ‘shock and awe’ of a big display and more about the artistry of the performance, and the quality of the component fireworks.
These are qualities that the competitors must demonstrate to win the World Fireworks Championship. That’s not to say we don’t like ‘shock and awe’, there is certainly a place for that in the competition as well.
Most people love fireworks, but for some (including us) it is a real passion. A passion that usually starts in childhood, and grows over the years into an obsession. It can be difficult to say why it has such appeal… fireworks are certainly exciting… they represent a certain mastery by man over chemicals and engineering… but perhaps subconsciously they make us hark back to the distant past when our ancestors peered into the majesty and awe of the night sky and wondered what it all meant.
We are used to seeing supremely professional pyrotechnic performances presented in all their splendour, but it’s good to be reminded of the shear excitement of just setting up a display and firing it. We came across this fascinating article on National Geographic’s ‘Proof‘. It covers the work of Kevin Kundstadt as he took a personal look at the pyrotechnic community at a Pyrotechnics Guild International convention in Mason City Iowa.
We came across this on the web about the eleven (??) biggest fireworks shows. Well they are certainly ‘big’, but without knowing the duration and shell count it’s difficult to decide exactly how big. Pretty sure that the Beijing Olympics would be in the top 3 largest shows, and ‘Thunder Over Louisville‘ is pretty spectacular, but some of the others can be quite short in duration; spectacular, definitely, but short.
Pyrotechnic stock arriving at the World Fireworks Championship
Each competitor’s pyro-musical performance at the World Fireworks Championship last about 20 minutes and uses about 10 tonnes of fireworks. There are typically 7,000 – 10,000 ‘cues’ (the electronic instructions that ignite the fireworks), and each display takes 9 people 5 days to set-up. So we think that outside of a Beijing or a Sydney, or a Dubai World Record Attempt, the Championship will be one of the biggest displays you’ve ever seen. And don’t forget there are SIX of them over a two week period.
Stock being unloaded at the World Fireworks Championship
There are some BIG days each year for fireworks. New Year’s Eve / New Year’s day when the whole world gets involved; Chinese New Year, when the Chinese diaspora celebrate; ‘Guy Fawkes Night’ in the United Kingdom; ‘Bastille Day’ in France. But of course one of the biggest is the Fourth of July in the USA.
No self respecting city or town fails to mount a display. San Francisco, and the Bay area, is no exception. There are in fact two displays in San Francisco one fired from the Municipal Pier, the other from barges in the Bay. So start planning ahead. You could couple a great holiday to one of the world’s greatest cities, with a fabulous night of fireworks. To find out more click here.
This looks like a great way to combine a great trip around San Francisco Bay with the fireworks.