Alexa

Taipei to welcome 2015 with fireworks display

Taipei to welcome 2015 with fireworks display

Taipei, Dec. 28 (CNA) Taipei will welcome 2015 with a nearly 4-minute long fireworks display during a show that blends eastern and western elements and stresses on the theme of "healing" following a year of ups and downs for Taiwan. A total of 23,000 rounds of fireworks will be lit at the Taipei 101 skyscraper at the stroke of midnight on Jan. 1, according to the Taipei Financial Center Corp., which operates the landmark building, the tallest in Taiwan. Entitled "2015 iSee Taiwan" (iSee sounds like "ai xi," the Chinese word for "cherish"), the show this year highlights healing, innovation and festivity, said Taipei Financial Center Spokesman Michael Liu. In addition to the colorful geometric figures, the fireworks will display fan-like shapes, which symbolize harmony in the East, Liu stated. He said the most difficult design to display this year is a firwork that circles the building and looks as if it were dancing. The fireworks display will be accompanied by Vivaldi's violin concertos "The Four Seasons," combined with Taiwanese folk songs. Taiwanese aboriginal chants will also be included in the music to symbolize racial harmony and to serve as a prayer for Taiwan, according to the Taipei Financial Center. The NT$38 million (US$1.19 million) fireworks show has been designed by France's Groupe F. Taiwan saw a year marked by tragedies, from the Penghu plane crash and Kaohsiung gas explosion to a series of food scandals that shook public confidence. The fate of this year's fireworks show became doubtful after Wei Ying-chiao -- chairman of the scandal-ridden Ting Hsin International Group, a major shareholder in Taipei 101 -- resigned from his post as vice chairman and chief executive officer of the Taipei Financial Center in late October. The Ting Hsin group has been at the center of the food safety scandal after its subsidiaries were found to have sold edible oil using ingredients that are not fit for human consumption. The Taipei Financial Center, however, was able to find a last-minute sponsor for its annual fireworks show. It announced in late December that the show will be sponsored by the iSee Taiwan Foundation, a non-profit aimed at raising Taiwan's global visibility, which was found by the late entrepreneur Sayling Wen in 2003. (By Christie Chen)