As is the case each year, cities worldwide welcomed the New Year with dazzling fireworks shows. In case you missed them, here are a few of the thousands of spectacular displays that lit up the skies around the globe at the stroke of midnight on December 31, 2017.
Sydney, one of the first major cities in the world to celebrate the new year, is known as the “New Year’s Eve Capital of the World” thanks to its spectacular fireworks shows. On Sunday night, over a million people gathered at the Sydney Harbor to witness what the city’s Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, described as “the most technologically advanced fireworks display.” The 12-minute, $7 million spectacle, launched from several firing points off the Sydney Harbor Bridge, the Sydney Opera House, and seven barges, did not disappoint. In a world first, the show began with fireworks forming the ten-second countdown to midnight and the word Sydney, followed by a variety of colorful formations which included a cascading, pyrotechnics waterfall.
Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong’s 10-minute musical fireworks show included a “Magic Starburst.” Comprising several colors, which symbolized love, health, happiness, and health, it was designed to enable the hundreds of thousands of partygoers gathered alongside the city’s Victoria Harbor to make a wish for the upcoming year. Here’s to hoping they all come true!
London’s 12-minute fireworks display, along the Victoria Embankment and South Bank areas of the River Thames, commemorated the 100th year anniversary of women’s right to vote with an all-female soundtrack. The show kicked off with Ariana Grande’s “One Last Time” in remembrance of the 22 deaths caused by a senseless terror attack at the American singer’s concert in Manchester in May 2017. Loud bongs from the nearby Big Ben, which has been silent recently due to an ongoing renovation of the massive clock and its tower, provided a fitting grand finale.
Dubai, the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates, is world-famous for its annual fireworks extravaganza. However, this year, the officials, citing safety reasons, replaced it with a laser show. As with everything the city does, it was no ordinary display, but one that set a new Guinness World Record for the largest laser light and sound show on one single structure — the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building!
New York, USA
Over a million revelers braved the –10 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures — the second coldest New Year’s Eve in the city’s history — to witness the legendary ball drop. Dressed in numerous layers of clothing, hats, gloves, and even face masks, they cheered as the massive 11,875-pounds-orb, featuring 2,688 colorful crystal triangles illuminated by 32,256 LED lights, slowly descended to welcome 2018.
Happy New(s) Year!
Resources: guardian.co.uk, telegraph.co.uk, dailymail.co.uk, khaleejtimes.com
Reading Comprehension (11 questions)
- How do cities worldwide welcome the New Year?
- Why is Sydney known as the New Year Eve Capital of the World?
Critical Thinking Challenge
Besides safety, can you think of another reason why Dubai’s laser...
Vocabulary in Context
Dressed in numerous layers of clothing, hats, gloves, and even face masks, they cheered as the massive 11,875-pounds-orb, featuring 2,688 colorful crystal triangles illuminated by 32,256 LED...