Revelers ring in 2016 with fireworks shows

The China Post news staff and CNA

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Revelers rang in 2016 with a record-long 238-second display of fireworks at the Taipei 101 skyscraper in Xinyi District. Across Taiwan, partygoers flocked to countdown events for stars that performed hit songs and for fireworks shows that broke out at midnight.

Taipei’s rapid transit system carried more around 3 million passengers to and from the Taipei 101 vicinity for the 2016 countdown party, according to an official forecast.

Metro Taipei, commonly known as the MRT and officially titled the Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation (TRTC), offered non-stop services overnight for all revelers flocking to the landmark building to watch a series of hit song performances and a fireworks show right after countdown.

The number of MRT passengers traveling to view the Taipei 101 countdown party has been steadily increasing over the past few years, from 2.75 million in 2013 to 2.96 million in 2014.

Taipei Civic Square was a hot spot with its concert featuring pop diva A-mei and local heartthrob Wilber Pan. At midnight, fireworks broke out from the nearby Taipei 101 skyscraper to variations on classic melodies including Jasmine Flower (茉莉花) and Plum Blossom Passes (桃花過渡). The 238-second, 30,000-round fireworks show featured images of flowers, flying birds, trees and animals. It was the longest fireworks show in the history of the skyscraper and was the fourth show designed by French pyrotechnic design company Group F. The event in Taipei was hosted by variety show hosts Jacky Wu, Na Tou and LuLu while singer A-mei heated up the night with a one-hour show.

Singers Elva Hsiao, William Wei and Wilber Pan, and electropop diva Jeannie Hsieh, also rocked the stage in Taipei.

Revelers braved poor air across Taiwan Revelers braved poor air quality on Thursday as the index for fine particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) hit a hazardous level of 10 in Northern Taiwan and outlying Kinmen and Matsu overnight.