Hong Kong welcomes New Year with carnivals

Beijing, Jan. 1 (Xinhuanet)– “Five, four, three, two, one – Happy new year!” Thousands of tourists counted down to 2006 at Hong Kong’s newest hot spot Disneyland Saturday night for ringing in the New Year.

Disneyland was in an aura of jubilation. In front of Sleeping Beauty Castle, visitors swung to the enchanting tunes of Tony Carpio and his big band. In Fantasyland, guests danced to the music of reggae, R&B and soul. On Main Street USA, the air was filled with the spicy scent of succulent Nuremberg sausages and lamp satays.

“We are having a wonderful time here,” said Mr. Wang, who came to Disneyland with his girlfriend. “It’s a great place to celebrate the dawning of a new year.”

Besides Disneyland, Times Square, Tsim Sha Tsui, Sha Tin Park and Lan Kwai Fong were the traditional rendezvous of the New Year’ s eve carnivals.

Organized by Hong Kong’s Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the carnival in Sha Tin Park featured a wide variety of entertainment. The Main Stage was heavy on Latin music and waltz while the Synergy Stage was pumping Hip Hop, Jazz, and Scottish Pipes & Drums into the crowd. On the Comic Stage, the participatory show “Where is the happy bird” brought children to a wonderful magic world.

The carnival reached its climax at the countdown moment with the launch of a spectacular light show complemented with pyrotechnics.

At Lan Kwai Fong, thousands of people lined the tiny bar area to celebrate. “As Hong Kong enjoys an economic upbeat this year, people are more willing to spend,” said Maggie, manageress of Yamane Sallon. She expected the turnover of the New Year’s Eve would grow by 10 percent over that of Christmas.

Outside the Times Square, a group of popular local singers and other young talents,jointly organized by Times Square and Radio and Television Hong Kong (RTHK), presented performance at the open piazza to thousands who had gathered there a few hours before the countdown carnival started.

Some 15 apples hanging outside Times Square were lit up one by one leading up to midnight. A massive volume of confetti was released from the sky at 12:00 sharp. It is the 12th consecutive year that Times Square has organized the “Times Square Apple Countdown” on December 31, which was first initiated in 1993 when the shopping mall opened.

At Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront, where is the best place to view the glamorous night vista of Victoria Harbor, tens of thousands people watched the special program for the New Year’s eve – “A Symphony of Lights”. With the jolly music, splendid pyrotechnic display lit up the sky and kaleidoscopic patterns of lights and beams danced lively across the harbor.

“I can not hold back my excitement when I watch the show,” said Mr. Zhao who moved to Hong Kong from the mainland 10 years ago. ” This is the place that best signifies the vibrancy of the city. At this special moment, I wish Hong Kong an even brighter new year,” he said. Enditem

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