The Lunar New Year fireworks left many of the spectators disappointed because of the uncooperative weather, but several illegal pyrotechnic displays made their own bids to bring holiday cheer to the people.
The annual fireworks extravaganza lasted 23 minutes, and consisted of eight segments that began at 8 p.m., Apple Daily reports.
A total of 23,999 fireworks were launched from three barges in Victoria Harbour.
This year, the show, which cost about HK$8 million (US$1.03 million), included a special segment that displayed the pattern of number “20″ by means of fireworks, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China.
But many of the viewers, who gathered at the venue as early as 1 p.m. to obtain the best vantage point, were very disappointed because they said they could hardly recognize the number 20.
They had no one to blame but the weather, however. There was a drizzle and it was cloudy on Sunday.
The sky above the harbour was covered by a large sheet of black smog.
A photographer, who has been viewing the fireworks display at the Star Ferry pier in Tsim Sha Tsui every year, said Sunday’s show was probably the worst Lunar New Year fireworks he has seen over the past several years.
Police said some 286,500 people watched the show on both sides of the harbour.
Some netizens described as it as “more smog than fireworks”.
Separately, monitoring data from the Environmental Protection Department showed PM2.5 intensity, a measure of air pollution, increased 1.5 times in the Central and Western District at 10 p.m. Sunday, or two hours after the show.
Meanwhile, some people set off their own fireworks to celebrate the New Year, ignoring the ban on individual, unauthorized fireworks.
Such illegal fireworks were witnessed in Sheung Shui, Lam Tin and several other places on New Year’s eve since last Friday, news website hk01.com reported.
Under the Dangerous Goods Ordinance, any person who manufactures, stores, possesses or sells fireworks without permission shall be liable upon conviction to a fine of HK$25,000 and a prison term of as long as six months, while the penalty for any person who sets off fireworks is a HK$500 fine and three months in jail.
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