1st October 2023 – (Hong Kong) The highly anticipated National Day fireworks extravaganza, which returned after a five-year hiatus, lit up Victoria Harbour from 9pm onwards. The areas surrounding the harbour, including Tsim Sha Tsui, Central, and Admiralty, were packed with people eager to witness the dazzling spectacle. Additionally, the waters off Wan Chai were filled with over 30 boats carrying excited passengers, eagerly awaiting the fireworks display.
The highly anticipated fireworks display, themed “Together on National Day with Jubilant Fireworks,” commenced at 9 p.m., captivating the audience with its dazzling spectacle. The first scene unfolded with fireworks soaring into the night sky, creating a magnificent array of vibrant patterns, including hearts, red stars, and smiling faces, leaving the spectators breathless with awe.
The subsequent scenes continued to mesmerize the crowd. The second segment, titled “Hello Hong Kong, Happy Hong Kong,” featured smiling faces and the bauhinia, the iconic floral emblem of Hong Kong. In the sixth scene, “Rooted in China, Advancing as One,” red five-pointed stars adorned the sky, accompanied by a vibrant array of colours.
The grand finale, aptly named “Prospering Nation, Blessings for Hong Kong,” reached its zenith with a majestic display of fireworks resembling a crown and palm brocades. Alternating between red and sparkling bursts of light, the finale left spectators spellbound.
A staggering 31,888 firing shells were launched from three barges and six pontoons during the approximately 23-minute extravaganza. The fireworks could be admired from various vantage points on both sides of the harbour, including Tsim Sha Tsui, the Mid-Levels, Central, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, and the Hung Hom Bypass.
The culmination of the show was met with enthusiastic applause and cheers from the crowd. The sky was illuminated with breathtaking fireworks, casting a magical glow upon the faces of both residents and tourists alike.
Expressing his thoughts on the event, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Chief Executive John Lee emphasized that the fireworks display symbolized Hong Kong’s resilience and progress towards a brighter future, triumphing over the challenges faced along the way.
Moreover, the fireworks show served as one of the highlights of the Night Vibes Hong Kong campaign, injecting vitality into the city’s vibrant nightlife. Social media platforms were abuzz with countless viewing guides, enhancing the overall experience for spectators. The event also provided a significant boost to Hong Kong’s night economy.
Timothy Chui, the Executive Director of the Hong Kong Tourism Association, revealed that hotels offering views of Victoria Harbor had curated special accommodation packages revolving around the fireworks display. The overwhelming response saw over 90 per cent of rooms and restaurants fully booked, adding to the success of the event.
Boat operators mentioned that the number of boats waiting for the fireworks was comparable to previous years. However, as the time for the fireworks drew closer, more boats arrived in the vicinity, causing the waters to become even more crowded. The Executive Director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, who organised the fireworks display, expressed delight at the enthusiastic participation of the local community. The team members were thrilled and eagerly looked forward to experiencing the fireworks up close.
One spectator, who had rarely seen fireworks in person over the past 60 years, described this occasion as her first time watching the spectacle from a boat. She expressed her excitement, stating that the experience was truly awe-inspiring. The resounding sounds of the fireworks left a lasting impression, and she described the view as being incredibly close to the action without feeling crowded. Her only regret was the absence of accompanying music, which would have made the entire performance even more perfect.
To facilitate crowd control measures for the National Day fireworks display, the Wan Chai Waterfront Carnival closed early at 5pm. Some food stalls opened their doors ahead of schedule, but due to the sparse foot traffic, their businesses suffered greatly. The stall owners estimated a 70% drop in revenue as they anticipated losing customers who had planned to visit for the fireworks. They also revealed that several stall owners decided to pack up and leave midway through the event, forfeiting the remaining days of operation.
Before 4pm, staff members at the venue made announcements to inform the public about the crowd control measures in place for the evening fireworks display. They urged citizens to leave the area and return after 10.30pm. By 4.30pm, the organisers had used traffic barriers to seal off the stalls, temporarily suspending their operations. However, following the conclusion of the National Day fireworks display, the Wan Chai Waterfront Carnival, which was originally scheduled to reopen at 10:30 p.m., reopened ahead of time at 10pm.
After the fireworks concluded, The Peak was bustling with predominantly Chinese tourists who began queuing for the tram around 9:30 p.m. The estimated waiting time was approximately 50 minutes.