Happy 2010 everybody! As I mentioned I would do before, I rang (neigh, ROCKED) in the new year at Taipei 101. A nationally televised concert located in the area near 101 starting at 7 PM was hosted by and featured several Taiwanese celebrities and musicians (and also Taiwan’s president). The concert continued up until the stroke of midnight, where it paused for the fireworks show on Taipei 101, then continued for about an hour afterward.
I had heard from some friends that I needed to go early to get a good spot (they on the other hand were hiding out in their homes until the morning after), so I left at around 6. At first, it wasn’t that crowed; up until about 8 I could still walk around a bit and find stuff to eat if I was hungry (a ton of privately owned kiosks selling snacks were set up the day before), but as the night went on more and more people arrived to see the fireworks.
Every couple of hours, the host would announce the estimated head count; by the time it was midnight, it was up to 750,000. There are a total of about 2,600,000 people in Taipei, meaning that over a fourth of the population turned out for this event.
There are already several videos up on Youtube of the fireworks show at 101 this year. I recorded it myself, but I was watching it from the ground so you can’t see it as well. Here is a video from Youtube, this guy was on a nearby roof:
Locals were complaining that it was very similar to the year before. I for one didn’t mind, as I’ve never seen a fireworks show at 101 before, but there were a lot of negative feelings expressed towards the show in the days following the New Years festival. Another source of criticism was that there were two pauses in the 188 second firework show, one of them 26 seconds in length. It later turned out that the workers were having trouble with the lighting.
There were several other major New Years celebration spread throughout Taiwan, mostly in other major cities such as Taizhong and Gaoxiong. Usually the concert at Taipei along with the fireworks takes the crown, but this year some people were saying the show put on by Gaoxiong was even better than that of Taipei