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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Awaken the Spirit : Sydney New Year 2010

A 13-minute show worth millions. 15 months of detailed and meticulous planning. More than 40 parks and public spaces around the harbour available for the 1.5 million people from all over the world. Everyone requested to wear a touch of blue to represent Australia's bluest sky. A beaming Yin and Yang symbol that calls for global unity--a call to Awaken the Spirit for 2010. Sydney has done it again and has done it better and greater! No wonder, we are known as the New Year's Eve capital of the world.


On 31 December 2009, more than 1.5 million people from all around the world gathered together at the Sydney Harbour to welcome the new year.

This year's theme "Awaken the Spirit" is an Aboriginal belief that tells us that we need to awaken the spirit each year, to stir up that spirit within our land, water, sky and people. The City of Sydney requested everyone to wear a touch of blue on new year's eve to represent Sydney's stunning blue harbour and blue summer sky (if you'v ever been to Australia, you will know that this country has the bluest skies ever).

Along with the theme, the City of Sydney calls everyone to think about what each one of us can do to make a significant change in our lifestyle in order to help the environment.   As we start the year (and a new decade too), everyone's encouraged to turn over new green leaf.


The show consisted of pyrotechnic fireworks that allowed specific shapes to be created.  More than 45,000 kilograms of explosive devices, including 11,000 shells, 25,000 shooting comets and 100,000 individual pyrotechnic effects were fired from barges in the Harbour, buildings in the CBD and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The spectators also witnessed the 9pm Family Fireworks that lit up the harbour for 8 minutes.  This is for the benefit of those who brought their kids with them and for those who want to go home early.  After the 9pm fireworks, the Harbour of Light Parade illuminated the harbour with 50 chosen vessels.

Fireworks photos #4, 5 and 6 are courtesy of our friend, photographer Iori Avellana.  For more of his photos, please check out his flickr site:


Since the City of Sydney has taken the initiative to take action against climate change, they planned to take a more environment-friendly event.

A green Sydney New Year’s Eve is achieved by:
  • Purchasing carbon credits to offset all emissions from the event.
  • Purchasing 100% GreenPower accredited renewable energy to match our electricity use.
  • Recycling 80% of all rubbish collected (approximately 20% is non recyclable waste).
  • Using recycled water to clean the streets.  
  • Distributing personal ashtrays on the night to help reduce cigarette butt littering.
  • Encouraging everyone to take public transport or walk to events and leave the car at home.  
  • Partnering with the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), the official charity of 2009 Sydney New Year's Eve. ACF is encouraging everyone to turn over a new green leaf by making a simple but significant lifestyle change to reduce their impact on the environment. Click here to find out more.
They also made a list on how everyone can do their share during the event:

  • Catch public transport or walk to and from the event.
  • Fill a reusable drink container with water and carry this with you to avoid buying bottled water.
  • If you're having a picnic, take reusable cutlery, plates, cups, containers, and bags, and take them home again instead of using disposable items. 
  • Take any recyclable containers home to place in your recycle bin.
  • Put any unavoidable rubbish in public bins, 80 per cent of it will be recovered and recycled.
  • Bin your butts by using a personal ashtray – free ones will be distributed on the night - or find a bin. Cigarettes cause environmental harm when they go down the drain and into Sydney Harbour.
  • Live Green to help make Sydney a more liveable and sustainable city


Personal Note:  The Husband and I did not celebrate NYE in the city and so I would like to thank our friend Iori Avellana for letting me share his photos here in my blog.  My Husband and I decided to spend New Year's Eve dinner with relatives and by midnight we were at home watching the fireworks on the telly as we toast to a happy and blessed 2010.  We hope all of you had a fun-filled and safe New Year.