Hong Kong fireworks: National Day display to be ‘neutral’, not warlike as initially proposed for 2015

Organiser says 23-minute show will celebrate the nature and culture of Hong Kong and mainland China

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 September, 2016, 7:41pm
UPDATED : Monday, 19 September, 2016, 9:22pm

The design of this year’s National Day fireworks is “neutral and artistic”, according to the fireworks designer whose plan to mimic a war scene was dropped last year after prompting a public outcry.

Pyro Magic Multimedia Productions chief executive Wilson Mao Wai-shing said this year’s eight-scene display would feature “neutral elements’’ celebrating the nature and culture of Hong Kong and mainland China.

IN PICTURES: Hong Kong’s National Day fireworks display lights up Victoria Harbour

“The scenes we have this year are a lot about the sea and the dance of flames,’’ Mao said.

Last year’s display originally featured air raid sirens and fireworks mimicking a hail of bullets to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Japan’s defeat in the second world war. It was scrapped after the display was criticised for being disrespectful to those who died in the war.

Mao said they had coordinated with the sponsor – the Hong Kong Members of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Hainan Province Municipal Committee Fraternity – on song and scene choices.

“We told [Mao] that we want to convey the message of happiness,” fraternity chairman Cheung Hok-sau said. “We hope [the fireworks] can be a blessing to Hong Kong people.’’

Mao said the highlight of the 23-minute show would be the fifth scene titled “Dance of Flames”, in which silver fireworks shoot out from the centre of a red and green display, giving the effect of fire sticks swirling at high speed.

The display, which will involve 23,888 fireworks, will start and end with the Yellow River concerto together with gold, silver and flower-like fireworks, to symbolise the country’s second longest river nourishing life and Chinese civilisation.

The beauty of marine life and the spirit of Hong Kong will be highlighted by blue and red fireworks displaying 3D images of jellyfish and the playing of the iconic song Below the Lion Rock.

Mao said they may exceed the HK$8 million budget as there had been delays in buying fireworks from suppliers in Jiangxi and Hunan provinces.

This year’s display to celebrate the 67th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic will begin at 9pm on October 1. The event was cancelled in 2013 following the Lamma Ferry disaster and the following year because of the Occupy protests.