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Festival of Lights - Hong Kong
Festival of Lights - Hong Kong
I was fortunate to travel to Hong Kong on a recent business trip, just before the Christmas Holidays. It was my first time in Hong Kong as I was asked to speak on a panel at a conference. Aside from the long, 15 hour plane ride, I was very impressed with the city. I arrived very late so it was dark as I got my ride from the airport to my hotel. My initial thoughts and observations on this ride were that the city was very clean and very modern. All the infrastructure appeared to be very modern (lots of glass buildings). Beautiful bridges and highways took me from the airport to my hotel in the heart of downtown Hong Kong.
As I was very busy during most of the week, I didn't get alot of time to sightsee. The conference kept me busy all day and the hosts had dinner plans every night. One night, we had a magnificent cocktail hout on the roof of one of the downtown skyscrapers so the views were spectacular. On ths particular night, all the people kept talking about some light show that would take place at 8:00. Of course, I had not idea what they were talking about so at 6:00PM, myself and the 100+ others at this cocktail hour lined the railings of the rooftop and watched as one or two of the neghboring buildings began flickering colored lights that spanned the entire height of these biuldings. Because our building was right in the heart of the downtown area, our view in terms of the lightshow was limited to the few neighboring buildings. As it was neat to watch, I didn't think too much of it and we simply went about our activities for the evening.
Finally on the last night of the conference, My flight wasn't until early the next morning so I actually had a free night. A collegaue of mine, who is based in China, told me to come with him as he wanted to show me something. So we walked only a few blocks from or hotel to a ferry boat dock. We got on tihs ferry boat and it took us across the harbor and off the main island of Hong Kong. When we reached the other side, we climbed stairs to an elevated walkway the hugged the water and it turned out to be an observation deck with plenty of seating as well as standing room. This observation deck spanned several blocks and as we stood there, it got more and more crowded. All the seats were taken and the walkway (similar fo what we know of on the East Coast as a boarwalk) was also getting filled with people holding video cameras and still shot cameras. What I found out was that I was about to witness what is know as "The Festival of Lights" which takes place every night in Hong Kong at 8:00. We left the main island so we cold get a great view of the city from afar.
At 8:00, the show started. Over loud PA systems, the announcer introduced the show and also identiified roughly 20 different companies/buildings that would be participating. Then after introductions, the Hong Kong skyline started to light up with a laser light show that was orchestrated to music. It was both an incredible and beautiful site to see. This was the light show they were referring to two nights prior at that cocktail party but we had no concept of what it really was since we were right in the middle of it.
From the view from afar, you could truly see how this beautiful city of Hong Kong lit up the December nightime sky with music and lights. For what has to be close to a mile of waterfront buildings, one building after another lit up with flashing lights, designs and sceneries, which were part of the show. I had noticed that several of the buildings in Hong Kong, were decorated from the first floor to the top floor with beautiful Christmas scenes which shined brightly all through the night (Christmas Trees, Santa Claus, Holiday Wishes, ...) It was truly a sight to see and I was joyed to be part of it.
If you ever get the chance to visit Hong, Kong, this is definitely an item to put on your list as a thing to do while there. The laser show put to music only last about 15 minutes but it is definitely worth taking in the sights. The fact that this huge city gets the cooperation of so many companies to have their buildings participate in this Festival of Lights, was just mind boggling to me. I assume that the crowd that I experienced on that particular Thursday night, was not a one-time phenomina. I got the impression that folks, both local and from afar gathered there every night to watch this spectacular event.
The one thing that kept going through my mind was, I wouldn't want to have to pay those electric bills!!!!!
I've attached a video to this hub which I took from my cell phone. It doesn't do justice to the spectacular sights and sounds but it should give you an idea of what I'm trying to convery. Two other photos below.
If you've been to Hong Kong and were fortunate enought to experience this event, please leave a comment below and let me know what you thought. Share this hub with your friends by "liking" it on your facebook page. I'm curious as to how many people here in the US are familiar with this tradition in Hong Kong.