A Symphony of Lights

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A Symphony of Lights (Traditional Chinese: 幻彩詠香江) is a synchronised building exterior decorative light and laser multimedia display, featuring 45 buildings on both sides of the Victoria Harbour of Hong Kong accompanied by music. The technology was developed by Australian firm Laservision and cost approximately 44 million HK dollars. It has attracted over 4 million visitors and locals so far, and is held every night for fourteen minutes.

Guinness World Records has named A Symphony of Lights the world's largest permanent light and sound show.[1]


Decorative light and laser from buildings

Background[edit]

The show is organised by the Hong Kong Tourism Board and displayed every night with good weather at 8 pm Hong Kong Time. An orchestration of music, decoration lights, laser light displays, and pyrotechnic fireworks, the multimedia light and sound show lasts for about 14 minutes.

The best vantage points include the "Avenue of Stars" on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront, on the waterfront promenade outside the Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai and on sightseeing ferries (i.e. Star Ferry) running across the Victoria Harbour. The Show's music and narration live at the "Avenue of Stars" and the promenade outside the Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai every night. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays the narration is in English, while it is in Mandarin on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and Cantonese on Sundays.

Special pyrotechnic fireworks will be added to the show on the rooftop of participating buildings on both sides of the habour or stages off at the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront. It will be added on special events or holidays, example like Chinese New Year and Christmas.

When Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No.3 or above or Red/Black Rainstorm Warning Signal is issued by the Hong Kong Observatory at or after 3 pm on the Show day, the Show will be suspended. No show will be staged even if the Signal is removed before 8 pm on that day. The show may also be suspended in emergencies without prior notice.

Panoramic night view of Victoria Harbour with Symphony of Lights. Many buildings in this photo also have Chinese New Year decorations on their outer walls.

Themes[edit]

A crowd on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront on the Avenue of Stars viewing the show

The Show comprises five major themes, taking spectators on a unique journey celebrating the energy, spirit and diversity of Hong Kong:

The first scene "Awakening" begins with flashes of laser lights that give life to a nucleus of light-energy which gradually illuminates participating buildings using an array of dancing lights and rainbow colour. This scene symbolises the genesis and powerful growth of Hong Kong.

The second scene "Energy" is represented by the display of rising colour patterns and the sweeping of the lasers and searchlights energetically across the night sky, signifying the vibrant energy of Hong Kong.

In the third scene "Heritage", traditional lucky red and gold colours are displayed across buildings on both sides of the Harbour, complemented by the introduction of music using Chinese musical instruments, symbolising Hong Kong's colourful heritage and rich cultural traditions.

The fourth scene "Partnership" features a display of laser beams and sweeping searchlights scanning across the Harbour, representing an illuminated connection with the opposite side. Beams reach out to symbolically connect the two sides of the Harbour into one greater and unified partnership.

The finale "Celebration" brings out a powerful rhythmic display of swirling, kaleidoscopic patterns of lights and beams dancing lively across the Harbour. The exciting final scene signifies the celebration of the close partnership between the two sides of the Harbour and represents an even brighter future for Asia's world city – Hong Kong.

Participating buildings[edit]

The show has been further expanded with the total number of participating buildings increased to 44 on both sides of Victoria Harbour.[2] There are different types of lighting effects included in the show, such as laser, searchlights, LED lights, simple lighting and projection lighting. Types of lighting effects are listed in brackets ([ ]) after each of the participating buildings below.

The first phase[edit]

One of the vantage point of A Symphony of Lights at Tsim Sha Tsui – Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Tourist are waiting to enjoy the show

Since 17 January 2004, by the Symphony of Lights in Hong Kong Island North Shore (including Wan Chai, Admiralty and Central ) walls of 18 buildings as a performance venue, after gradually extended to 20. From east to west, including: (involved in building name after the "[]" for the lighting device inside; LED as a light-emitting diode abbreviation; ^ special day will be inserted in the fireworks show)

The buildings included are listed below:

  1. Sun Hung Kai Centre^ (from 17 January 2004) [laser/searchlights]
  2. Central Plaza, Hong Kong ^ (from 17 January 2004) [laser]
  3. Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (from 17 January 2004) [LED lights]
  4. Hopewell Centre^ (from December 2004) [LED lights/laser]
  5. Harcourt House (Hong Kong)^ (from 17 January 2004) [LED lights]
  6. The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (from 17 January 2004) [searchlights/projection lighting/LED lights]
  7. MassMutual Tower (from 17 January 2004) [LED lights]
  8. CITIC Tower^ (from 1 May 2005) [LED lights]
  9. Queensway Government Offices^ (from 17 January 2004) [searchlights]
  10. The Chinese People's Liberation Army Forces Hong Kong Building (from 17 January 2004) [searchlights/projection lighting]
  11. Bank of China Tower (from 17 January 2004) [LED lights/searchlights]
  12. Cheung Kong Center^ (from 17 January 2004) [Optical Fiber]
  13. HSBC Main Building^ (from 17 January 2004) [LED lights/searchlights]
  14. Hong Kong City Hall (from 17 January 2004) [LED lights]
  15. Jardine House^ (from 17 January 2004) [searchlights/projection lighting]
  16. One Exchange Square (from 17 January 2004) [searchlights/projection lighting]
  17. Two Exchange Square (from 17 January 2004) [searchlights/projection lighting]
  18. Two International Finance Centre^ (from 17 January 2004) [laser]
  19. One International Finance Centre (from 17 January 2004) [laser]
  20. The Center (from 17 January 2004) [LED lights]

The second phase[edit]

Since 23 December 2005, Symphony of Lights extended to the Kowloon peninsula (including the Tsim Sha Tsui and Hung Hom ), north shore there a building added:

There is a building added in Hong Kong Island

  1. AIA Central (from 23 December 2005) [LED lights]

There are 12 buildings added in Kowloon Peninsula, from west to east include:

  1. Star House (from 23 December 2005) [projection lighting]
  2. Hong Kong Cultural Centre^ (from 23 December 2005) [searchlights/projection lighting]
  3. One Peking^ (from 23 December 2005) [searchlights]
  4. Hong Kong Museum of Art^ (from 23 December 2005) [LED lights/searchlights/projection lighting]
  5. The Peninsula Hong Kong (from 23 December 2005) [simple lighting ]
  6. Avenue of Stars (from 23 December 2005) [searchlights/LED lights]
  7. Hotel Panorama^ (from 23 December 2005) [projection lighting]
  8. New World Centre^ (from 23 December 2005) [searchlights](Under redevelopment)
  9. Tsim Sha Tsui Centre (from 23 December 2005) [LED lights/searchlights]
  10. Empire Centre^ (from 23 December 2005) [LED lights/searchlights]
  11. InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong (from 23 December 2005) [simple lighting]
  12. Hong Kong Coliseum (from 23 December 2005) [LED lights/searchlights/projection

Since 2007[edit]

Hong Kong Island

  1. Bank of America Tower (from 26 June 2007) [LED lights]
  2. Standard Chartered Bank Building (from 26 June 2007) [LED lights]

There are nine (official will Gateway Tower 5 building combined) building was added in Kowloon Peninsula, from west to east include:

  1. The Gateway – Harbour City (from 1 May 2007) [LED lights/searchlights]
  2. Ocean TerminalHarbour City (from 26 June 2007) [projection lighting]
  3. Langham Place (from 26 June 2007)[LED lights/searchlights]
  4. 26 Nathan Road^ (from 1 May 2007) [LED lights]
  5. K11 (from 26 June 2007)[laser]
  6. Harbourview Horizon All-Suite Hotel (from 26 June 2007)[LED lights]
  7. Harbourfront Horizon All-Suite Hotel (from 26 June 2007)[LED lights]
  8. EMax (from 26 June 2007) [searchlights]
  9. Megabox (from 1 October 2007) [LED lights/searchlights]

Since 1 May 2012, International Commerce Centre in LED lights and laser add to one of participating buildings of the show Since 2013/2014, CCB Tower in LED lights and laser add to one of participating buildings of the show.

A Symphony of Lights New Year Countdown[edit]

2007[edit]

To celebrate the arrival of the year 2008, on New Year's Eve of 2007, pyrotechnics were added to the show on the rooftops of participating buildings on both sides of the harbour.[3]

Moreover, for the last 20 seconds before entering the year of 2008 (23:59:40), Two International Finance Centre started firing pyrotechnic fireworks from the outer walls, which face the Victoria Harbour, and counting down. For the first 2 minutes of the year 2008, (24:00:00), 16 of the participating buildings of both sides of the harbour had a themed pyrotechnic show, along with Two International Finance Centre, to celebrate the arrival of the new year. Reuters Earth TV broadcast the show live to the whole world on that night.

2008[edit]

Thousands of spectators gather along both sides of Victoria Harbour for Hong Kong's New Year Countdown 2008 celebrations. For the last 60 seconds before entering the year of 2009 (23:59:00), 60-sec numerical countdown by LED lights with pyrotechnic display effects on the facade of Two International Finance Centre was launched.

Hong Kong welcomes 2009 with spectacular display. Continue with a 5 minutes brilliant pyrotechnical show on 10 landmark buildings on Hong Kong island, orchestrated by special theme song written and produced by award winning Hong Kong musician Mr Peter Kam to illuminate the glamorous Victoria Harbour, signifying a bright and hopeful New Year for Hong Kong and the world.

2009[edit]

A similar display was also launched before entering the year 2010 (23:59:00), followed by fireworks with an installation set on the facade of Two International Finance Centre.

2010[edit]

Special countdown activities were held before entering the year of 2011 (at 23:59:00).[4]

Lights Out Hong Kong[edit]

Lights Out Hong Kong is a campaign in Hong Kong to protest against the city's air pollution. Organisers of the campaign urged people in Hong Kong to switch off their lights for 3 minutes at 8 pm on 8 August 2006 as a statement of protest. However, chief executive Donald Tsang refused to support the campaign with a delay of the nightly light show, A Symphony of Lights, which started at 8 pm. In a reply to the request made to delay the light show, Donald Tsang said that the campaign could "give adverse publicity to Hong Kong as an international metropolis and a major tourist attraction."[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • [1] A Symphony of Lights Official Website
  • [2] Discover HongKong page

Coordinates: 22°17′15.91″N 114°10′25.03″E / 22.2877528°N 114.1736194°E / 22.2877528; 114.1736194