Rather than Celebrate the New Years With Fireworks, Shanghai Celebrated With a Stunning Drone Show

This past Tuesday night, all around the world cities, towns, and homes awaited the change of a new year and a new decade.  New Year’s Eve is perhaps the one time a year that no matter where you are, you are surrounded by people celebrating the same thing.  It’s almost a magical moment.  The closing of 2019 and the opening of 2020 was celebrated in style.  Whether you spent a quiet night at home, at a party, or a major city wide event, the countdown into a new decade was heard all around the world.

In New York City, more than a million people gathered in Times Square and the surrounding areas to watch the famous ball drop.  In Paris a light show at the Champs Elysees culminated with the Arc de Triomphe illuminating.  Seoul, South Korea celebrated the night by releasing colorful paper lanterns into the night sky.  Many cities including Las Vegas, Tokyo, Berlin, Moscow, and London put on massive firework displays.  Though it was considered controversial because of the wildfires ravaging Australia this year, both Sydney and Melbourne used fireworks to ring in the new year as well.  But perhaps one of the most unique and memorable New Year’s celebration shows came from Shanghai, China.

Shanghai opted to put on a mesmerizing drone display for their 2020 New Year’s Eve celebration.  Though fireworks are undeniably beautiful, they make an enormous amount of smoke.  In a city like Shanghai, where air pollution has become a major concern, firework smoke is far from a good idea.  Fireworks are also a major fire hazard, even though these shows are put on by professionals, which is why it was surprising that Australia did not cancel their firework displays.  Still, New Year’s revelers were not disappointed in China as nearly 2,000 drones took to the sky.

The tiny drones were all equipped with multicolored LED lights.  Before even launching into the air, each drone knew exactly how to perform.  From the ground the swarm was controlled by a computer program.  Rather than pilots controlling individual drones, a program controlled all of their movements at once.  Like a well choreographed ballet, the drones rose above the Huangpu River, safely out of reach from any onlookers.  Once above the river they gracefully moved into different shapes and words.  One of the most memorable images created by the drones was of a giant, blue, illuminated man running through the sky over the river.  A trail of drones scatter behind the running man giving the impression of speed as his arms and legs pump to lunge him forward.  According to CCTV, a Shanghai state run media outlet, the running man made from the drones represented “the huge changes and glorious achievements Shanghai has made in the past 40 years of reform and opening up.”

Clearly this drone show put forth an image of a city striving for the best in technological advancements.  Not only was this drone show visually stunning, but it also showed the world a way of celebrating New Year’s Eve in style while being ecologically responsible.  Later on, the drones returned to the sky.  They became a digital countdown to ring in the final seconds of 2019 into 2020 along with the cheers and chants that could be heard throughout the entire city.  Shanghai’s New Year’s Eve drone show was hardly the first of it’s kind.  In fact drone shows are becoming more and more on demand throughout the world.  Entertainers are always looking for new ways to amaze audiences.  Drone shows have a way of transporting an audience along a magical journey.  If Shanghai’s drone show was any inclination as to the year and decade to come, the magic of drones and technology is sure to astound.


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