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New Year's Eve parties take stage countrywide

New Year's Eve parties take stage countrywide

Taipei, Dec. 31 (CNA) Over a million people gathered at outdoor countdown celebrations featuring concerts and fireworks around Taiwan Saturday to welcome in the new year, with many braving relatively chilly weather to get a taste of the festivities. In Taipei, the city's mass rapid transit (MRT) system was to remain in operation throughout the night to accommodate an expected 2 million passengers, many of whom flooded into a city-sponsored countdown party called "Taipei beats. Let's party!" The event was staged near Taipei 101, one of the city's iconic landmarks and formerly the tallest building in the world. The six-hour extravaganza, featuring displays of light and music, was being hosted by entertainer Patty Hou and the award-winning comedy team Plungon. The highlight of the event will be the elaborate annual fireworks show that shoots out of the Taipei skyscraper. This year's show, which cost NT$30 million (US$990,600), will last 202 seconds and fire off 30,000 fireworks, according to Taipei 101 spokesman Michael Liu. For the first time, YouTube will help those who want to stay at home and avoid traffic jams become part of the city's New Year's Eve celebrations by streaming the show live. People in central Taiwan also had a chance to rock at Taichung's star-studded countdown party. Celebrities such as Leehom Wang, Ariel Lin and the rock band Sodagreen were ringing in the new year with fans at a party organized by the Taichung City government. Further south in Kaohsiung, people celebrated the dawn of the new year with performances and a 180-second fireworks show at the city's Dream Mall. With Taiwan to hold a presidential election on Jan. 14, two of the three presidential candidates were busy attending the parties in various cities to increase their exposure. President Ma Ying-jeou attended parties in Tainan, Taichung, Taoyuan and Taipei, while Democratic Progressive Party nominee Tsai Ing-wen joined parties in Kaohsiung and Tainan. The third presidential candidate, James Soong of the People First Party (PFP), decided not to attend any countdown party, saying that such participation could be seen as an act of campaigning, which is banned by law after 10 p.m. (By Johnson Sun, Hsu Ya-chu, Lee Shu-hua, Liu Chien-pang and Alex Jiang)


Updated : 2021-07-25 08:59 GMT+08:00