Portfolio of Kimberly Johans

A collection of articles created during my stint as a journalist at The Macau Daily Times

A blaze of lights, some big blasts and the fireworks festival takes off

Posted by Kimberly on September 16, 2007

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
September 16, 2007, page 5 (636 words)

The first night of the Macau annual fireworks festival went off with a bang as Kimbolton Fireworks Limited from the United Kingdom started the competition with an eighteen-minute display that lit up the night sky. The company’s first foray into the Macau Festival began with what  appeared to be mini lights falling gently from the sky, about nine in total. Suddenly a blaze of lights filled the sky, followed by a series of blasts, one after another. What followed was a burst of colours, of red stars bursting from within green fire. This was followed by another barrage of coloured lights, one after another, dancing to the tune of ?? ‘somebody told me.’
A moment of respite followed, enough to catch one’s breath, before the next lot shot through, beginning with twinkling gold stars, followed by purple and gold jet streams. Then came the shots of purple and gold, like flowers bursting from within the barge. This was followed by a gigantic multi-coloured burst and then by smaller versions of purple and gold. Suddenly, silver clouds with gold dust appeared, followed by green stars, shooting down a rainfall of silver light. The rest that followed held its audience in its grasp, with every face held enthralled by Kimbolton’s mesmerising display. The UK company may currently be a market leader in its field but there’s no denying the humble origins.
Founded in 1964, by Reverend Ron Lancaster was always fascinated by firework displays and its connection to chemistry from a very young age, growing up in West Yorkshire.
Even now, the company is still fundamentally family-owned, committed to delivering high quality products and services.
As a seventh-time Macau competitor, Korea’s turn began with pure rock music, and there were no preliminaries, as the fireworks burst forth one after another. The noise level was significantly higher than that of the UK.
The lantern-style red lights that floated gently to the ground were also evident in Kimbolton’s display.
Korea seemed to want to create a sense of unbalance, alternating between heavy bursts of pyrotechnics followed by slow simple displays.
Red was the colour most consistent throughout the performance, followed by green and gold.
Other moments of note were the bright bursts of silver stars across the sky; a short rainfall of silver stars followed by a rainbow barrage of lights just above the barge.
Hanwha also had a few pyrotechnics that weren’t evident in Kimbolton’s display.
This included the large rings of stars, silver on the outside with red and green in the middle, a multitude of coloured stars dispersing into the sky and a shimmer of silver stardust.
Most notable was what appeared to be a flock of silver birds bursting out of the barge straight into the sky.
That was nothing compared to the end display. This was pure gold, literally, with a constant stream of pyrotechnics, one after another for at least twenty seconds, the tempo echoed by the classical music in the background. The only issue with the Korean display was what seemed like unnecessary moments of silence which, at one stage, lasted for thirty seconds.
Hanwha has been Korea’s leader in fireworks since 1964, having been the mastermind behind such displays as APEC in Korea 2005 and the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
It would have been difficult to judge which of the two would have come out on top last night, unless one were to look at it from a purely technical viewpoint.
While Kimbolton had a consistent performance, Korea’s finale was mesmerising.
Meanwhile, the crowds were in force at the sea front as well as in the BBQ area of the Macau Tower. The Tower are giving viewers the opportunity of both a visual and food feast for a cost of 198 patacas per person, just by contacting the Tower for reservations.

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