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Talk of the day -- Opening the ROC's 100th year with a bang

2011/01/01 16:24:16

The sky over Taipei City was colored with dazzling fireworks onNew Year's Eve that seemingly forged an impressionist painting amidthe festive atmosphere. When fireworks showing the number "100" burstinto the sky at midnight Friday, it told the world that the Republicof China's celebration of its 100th year in existence had officiallybegun.

The following are excerpts from local media coverage of thefestivities:

China Times:

World-renowned gunpowder artist Cai Guo-Qiang and his teamcreated a stunning fireworks show on the Taipei 101 skyscraper. Inthe 228 seconds that following the stroke of midnight, 22,000fireworks were launched like a magnificent symphony with sound andlight.

"It's marvelous, the NT$60 million fireworks! " an amazedspectator said.

An estimated 850,000 people packed into the upscale XinyiDistrict, which is home to Taipei 101 and City Hall, for the NewYear's Eve and ROC centennial celebration on Friday night, despitetemperatures that fell as low as 6 degrees Celsius.

Meanwhile, a year-end concert at a shopping mall in the southernTaiwan city of Kaohsiung attracted over 400,000 spectators. Popularpop singers counted down the last seconds of 2010 along with theirfans.

The countdown was followed by a massive fireworks show thatlasted 10 minutes and 10 seconds, a period of time symbolizing"perfection" in Chinese. (Jan. 1, 2011).

United Daily News:

To celebrate the beginning of the nation's 100th year, 820,000people flocked to Xinyi District on Friday night, 60,000 more thanthe previous year.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin enjoyed the Taipei 101 fireworks showalong with ranking city officials in the plaza outside City Hall.

They were joined by people considered as the "Pride of Taiwan, "including runner Tommy Yen-po Chen, who finished second in the100-kilometer division in the Antarctic Ice Marathon held in theSouth Pole in December.

"I'm proud to be Taiwanese, and I want to embrace the comingcentury with 100 percent passion," Chen said.

At the same time as Taipei 101's fireworks show dazzled itsaudience, a separate fireworks show was being held at the DajiaRiverbank Park along the Keelung River. It was part of a centennialanniversary celebration held at the park that also featured music anddance performances.

President Ma Ying-jeou, Vice President Vincent Siew and PremierWu Den-yih were present at the festive event that was touted as a"giant festival under the star-decorated sky."

Hundreds of singers, dancers and drummers gave performances thatstressed the theme of the bonds tying together the sky, the Earth,and human beings.

The show came to its climax when a fireworks display outlined theprofile of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the founding father of the Republic ofChina. (Jan. 1, 2011).

Liberty Times:

The year-end show at the Dajia park drew criticism because only8,400 people were invited to attend the NT$200 million performances.

Those invited included political party leaders, lawmakers, citycouncilors and representatives of businesses that helped sponsor theshow.

Opposition Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chen Ting-feicomplained that the only part of the celebration that the averageperson shared with its "powerful and rich spectators" was the cost ofputting it on. (Jan. 1, 2011).

(By Elizabeth Hsu)