Welcoming the new year with great pomp and show is a custom that is followed all across the globe. Synonymous with new year’s celebrations are fireworks.
Every year, countries spend millions of dollars on splendid firework displays. These generally last for a few minutes but offer the audience an adrenaline rush into the new year.
Several countries hold iconic shows for NYE celebrations and these shows are not just about fireworks anymore. They are now accompanied by light, sound, and even water displays.
In this article, we bring you a list of the world’s most expensive New Year’s firework displays.
Due to its time zone, Sydney is one of the first major cities in the world to welcome the new year. Every year on New Year’s eve; Sydney organizes two firework displays, the 9 pm Family Fireworks and the Midnight Fireworks.
The Fireworks explode off the arches of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, and roadways of the nearby city buildings. They are synchronized to popular music tracks from the past and present. Each year a new theme is chosen for the fireworks display.
The lighting on the Harbour Bridge is known as the “bridge effect” whereby a rope made of light is attached to a panel and truss system. It is used to complement the fireworks.
Another feature of the Sydney NYE firework display is a traditional waterfall. The waterfall effect comprises a stream of 1,100 candle fireworks falling from the base of the bridge towards the water.
More than a million people watch the fireworks display live from the Harbour bridge and a billion people worldwide watch the television broadcast. In 2019, the event cost the government $6.5 million, but in return, it generated a revenue of $130 million for the state’s economy.
This year, the government has scrapped the 9 pm fireworks and the Midnight fireworks show is most likely shortened, focusing only on the Harbour Bridge. The event might also be cancelled if there is a spike in the Covid-19 cases.
As a gesture of thanks towards the front-line workers for their hard work and selfless efforts during the bushfires and the Coronavirus Pandemic, the prime viewing positions in the Harbour will be reserved for them. The government is planning to hold a ballot process to award the spots.
In 2014, Dubai broke the record for the world’s largest fireworks display; the cost of which was $6 million. The show consisted of 500,000 fireworks and lasted for 6 minutes across 400 locations in Dubai. It ended with an “artificial sunrise” along the seafront, symbolizing new dawn for the city.
Every year, to welcome the New Year the city hosts an extravagant pyrotechnic show at the Burj Khalifa and a light and water dance show at the Dubai Fountain.
The 10-second countdown to midnight is displayed on the LED facade of the Burj Khalifa. In 2018, EMAAR (developer of Burj Khalifa) opted for a light show instead of the traditional fireworks display. In the consecutive year, the fireworks were brought back and were combined with the light show.
Every year there is a growing number of people who come to visit downtown Dubai to witness the NYE celebrations. It is also televised for people from all over the world to view.
To welcome 2020 at the world’s tallest building, an audience of over 2 billion people gathered from all across the globe. After the traditional countdown, the colorful fireworks show lasted for 8 minutes and 43 seconds. All the pyrotechnic effects were specially designed for the show.
During the NYE 2020 celebrations, Emaar also granted people from all over the world a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to have their New year wishes displayed on the LED facade of the Burj Khalifa.
Other famous landmarks of Dubai that light up with fireworks for NYE celebrations are The Atlantis, Al Suqeim Beach, and the Dubai Frame.
The NYE fireworks display in London is celebrated along with the areas of the River Thames where the Big Ben and London Eye are situated.
The first major fireworks display happened in December 1999. In 2004, the fireworks were launched from the wheels of the London Eye for the very first time.
The countdown to New Year is accompanied by the chimes of Big Ben. The fireworks are launched off the London Eye and from barges in the River Thames.
The cost of the event gets covered through the tax-payers’ money as well as funds raised through ticket sales for the event. The event is attended by thousands of people and provides a multi-million-pound boost to the economy.
Every year there is a new theme for the pyrotechnics show and it is synchronized with music tracks, a combination of classics as well as popular tracks of the present.
The theme for the 2019-20 fireworks display was “British New Decade” to celebrate the start of a new decade. The music tracks used in the display were relating to UEFA Euro 2020 which got postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic.
The event featured more than 12,000 fireworks, 2,000 lighting cues, and more than 20 tonnes of equipment, all choreographed to music. The budget for the 2019-20 fireworks display was £3.4 million, and it was attended by 100,000 people.
The mayor of London has announced that the 2020-21 fireworks have been canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, a broadcast event might be organized for the people to view from the safety of their homes.
One of Paris’ main tourist attractions, The Eiffel Tower does not hold any fireworks display for NYE celebrations. Instead, the L’arc de Triomphe is where the spectacle takes place.
A countdown takes place from the facade of the L’arc de Triomphe, followed by grand fireworks that cover up the whole sky.
Public transport is free on the night of December 31, allowing thousands of people to gather and celebrate NYE.
In 2019, close to 250,000 people gathered for the fireworks show. They were also treated to a 20 minute long light show called “Fraternite” projected onto the L’arc de Triomphe.
- Rio de Janeiro
Every year, millions of people gather on the shores and promenade of Copacabana Beach to celebrate the start of a new year in a grand party known as “Reveillon”. The party goes on through the night till dawn.
Until a few years ago, the firework rockets were placed on the sand and next to the promenade. After the start of the 21st century, the rockets began to be placed on barges near the beach.
In 2019, almost 17 tonnes of pyrotechnics were used for a display that lasted 14 minutes synchronized to an exclusive soundtrack. The theme was “Amor a Cada Vista” meaning Love Wherever You Look, a tribute to the beautiful city.
The fireworks display cost the government $6.76 million and the government expected that it would bring them a revenue of BRL 541.
In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, the NYE celebrations for this year stand canceled. But this has received a negative reaction from the tourism industry. So, alternate options are being looked at, one of which is holding the celebrations on several beaches and not just Copacabana beach.
Fireworks are a glorious way of setting fire to millions of dollars. It is no doubt that these firework displays generate a massive return for the economies. Hence, every year countries continue to allocate expenditure for bigger pyrotechnic shows for NYE celebrations.
When the sky lights up with colorful fireworks, it gives the audience a much-needed boost into the new year. The spectacle reminds them of the new opportunities and possibilities that the year might have in store for them.
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