OK I normally leave my welcoming of the new Lunar year to the common social media networks (Facebook) and text messages to friends, however this year I have finally uploaded a video of the annual Chinese New Year firework display in Hong Kong Bay, arguably the best firework display in the work.

It has only taken me 18 years to upload this. Actually I thought I had already done so but was mistaken. The quality is everything you would expect from something ripped from video tape, after all in 2004 digital videos were the realm of Hollywood, compact digital cameras were still very expensive, and mobile phones now had cameras but not of any real quality.

The video was taken from the public balcony of the Salisbury YMCA in Kowloon. Forget YMCA being the realm of basic dormitories and teenage trekkers, this place is set up as a 3 star business hotel and is right next door to the Peninsula, one of the most expensive hotels in the region. I normally get a partial harbour view room, which still shows me the White Star Ferry terminal and part of the Hong Kong Island skyline, however the full view rooms gives you the same panoramic scene as the most expensive hotel rooms in Hong Kong.

For those unaware Chinese New Year is all about family gatherings and even in Hong Kong virtually everything shuts down (or at least still back then). It took me 3 days just to be able to buy postcards in what was one of the most tourist centric cities in the world. Now fortunately I had friends in the area and one of them arranged for me to spend time with his father’s family on the 2nd night, which included being invited to join them at the big family celebration meal at a restaurant close to them.

The city celebrates the new year with a parade on one day and the big firework display on another. The Salisbury YMCA had a paid for event including a meal and the use of the balcony (and rain gear), which I did not go for. My friend met up with me and we started to watch the fireworks from my hotel room, however the view was at the wrong angle so we went long the corridor to see if there were better options along there. We heard the people outside on the balcony and next thing we knew the hotel staff and snook us in at the back. Success, though this is why I’m missing the start of the show.

The audio on the video is affected by the fact I had a wind filter turned on, which actually muted the sound. It was an electronic noise reduction function on the camera I had on by default as the camera was only really used to record me on track days from over the shoulder in my old MX-5 with the top down. Still I doubt the camera would have picked up the shock waves some of the larger explosions caused, though you do hear resultant car alarms.

So now for the aforementioned video. Note if you do get adverts it is nothing to do with me. Sony Latin Music have automatically triggered a copyright claim for the background music between 15:10 and 16:30, not that you can make out what it is, so I have challenged this (not that I am expecting success as YouTube is infamous for how flawed, nee corrupt their copyright mechanisms are).

BTW at present I have no plans to start doing pen reviews on line, too much work involved 🙂