Eruption of magic

The 29th Macao International Fireworks Display Contest will once again light up the night skies over Macau this Autumn.

Starting in 1989, the Macao International Fireworks Display Contest is an annual event that pays homage to one of Macao’s biggest traditional industries – fireworks. Every Autumn, the skies over Macau are illuminated with spectacular pyrotechnic displays as professional teams from around the world compete in the renowned Macao International Fireworks Display Contest.  

Organised by Macao Tourism Government Office (MGTO), this year marks the 29th Macao International Fireworks Display Contest, and will be held on September 1, 8, 15, 24 the Mid-Autumn Festival and October 1 – China’s National Day.   

Spectators can witness the expertise and artistry of leading fireworks teams, which this year comprises 10 groups from Asia and Europe; namely, the Philippines, Korea, Japan, Belgium, France, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Italy and China – whose pyrotechnic teams will present spectacular fireworks displays synchronised to music and laser lights in a multimedia experience not to be missed. 

Kicking off on the 1st September, the Philippines take on Korea. A two-time third place winner, Philippines Platinum Fireworks Inc. compete here for their fifth stunning performance. Joel Sta. Ana, the president of Platinum Fireworks, Inc., told Macau Business that it was in this contest that they witnessed the growth of the team, wishing to prove to the world that Asians, including Filipinos, are on a par with Europeans or Americans on the pyro-musical stage.  

“We have persevered and tried very hard to learn all the techniques and systems needed to win this competition. Now that we have all the techniques and experience, we believe the show we are about to present will be one of the greatest – if not the greatest – show we will do,” he said.   

The Philippines’ performance will be followed by that of the Korean team. It will be the first time Faseecom has represented Korea in the contest.  Founded in 2003, the company is “running towards the sole objective of success” staffed by young people full of passion and professional masters of the trade, with the goal of forming a new trend in the culture of fireworks display.  

On the second weekend of the Contest, 8th September, Asian powerhouse Japan and newbies Belgium will assuredly thrill spectators with their amazing shows themed around ‘A Mysterious Fireworks Dream’.  

It will be the fourth time that Marutamaya Ogatsu Fireworks has participated in the Macao International Fireworks Display Contest, having figured in the top three for three times, snatching victories in 1993 and 2016. “This year, we hope to gain a good prize but not only that. Because we know that last year Macao was damaged by a typhoon Japanese fireworks have the meaning of not only entertaining but mourning, too. We hope people will feel better because of our fireworks,” said Kohei Ogatsu, Marutamaya Ogatsu Fireworks’ spokesperson.  

He also told us that they hand-make all their firework shells because they believe that the quality of their fireworks is more important than quantity. In order to showcase this wonderful display and maintain their track record Ogatsu said the performance – programmed to synchronised music – will “highlight the colour of stars. You can find many kinds of colours [not just] blue.” he said. 

At 9:40pm, the Belgian HC Pyrotechnics will debut their fist show in Macau. This enterprise has mounted displays in many international contests in Europe including the UK, Italy and Holland. 

On September 15, two European contenders will light up the skies with their expertise and artistry under the theme ‘Shining Voices of Heaven’. 

French Alpha Pyrotechnie appears in Macau for the first time.  Founded by Patrick Brault in 2003, he has embraced the art of pyrotechnics gleaned from his career in the movie industry. Alpha Pyrotechnics is famous for the poetic creativity of its deeply moving and magnificent shows, says Brault, adding fireworks displays are an emotional experience which brought him to fully integrate music in his designs in order to obtain perfect unity between choreography and rhythm. 

A frequent contender in the Contest, Portugal has figured in the top three 10 times. One of the largest pyrotechnic groups in the world, Portuguese Grupo Luso Pirotecnia returns to Macau for the second time, having built up a brilliant portfolio of large-scale displays in Portugal, Belgium, Angola and other countries. 

In celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival, Germany and Austria will present a ‘Sparkling Mid-Autumn Night’ over the water. Both teams are new to the contest.  Germany Potsdamer Feuerwerk Vertriebs GmbH was founded in 1990, quickly growing into one of the largest providers of pyrotechnics in Germany, a country which won third prize in 2000 and second prize in 1999. 

With almost two decades’ experience, FIREevent – Die Feuerwerker from Austria is one of the few certified companies in the EU providing creative and innovative pyrotechnics.  

The grand finale explodes on October 1, the National day of China. Participating for the first time is the Italian Panzera S.A.S. Company.  This experienced team has represented Italy in many international contests in Montreal, Marseille and other cities. Their signature piece is the ‘James Bond’ display dotted with one-liners from all of the Bond actors on the soundtrack. 

Right after Italy is the host country team from Mainland China. China has mounted the Macau Contest podium a total of 16 times.  From the hometown of Chinese firecrackers in Hunan, Liuyang New Year Fireworks Trading Co., Ltd. is a leading firecrackers enterprise with more then 40 years’ experience making large scale pyrotechnics and products exported to Japan and Southeast Asian countries. The company has conducted many ceremonial shows in China, with expectations this year of a wonderful performance to celebrate the birthday of its motherland. 

No matter which team lifts the coveted crown, spectators are definitely guaranteed a wonderful month of breathtaking pyrotechnics!