Gong Xi Fa Cai 2013: Constellation on Steroids

For a few years now, I took great risks shooting in close proximity to exploding fire crackers – thinking back, it may have been too close for comfort and not something I want repeated. So this year while my dad continued the tradition of lighting the long string of firecrackers, to entertain the kids, I stayed on the first floor appreciating what’s happening downstairs from the balcony. And, each year my immediate neighbour would light the first blast and what followed simply dwarfed every other fireworks in our area — Gong Xi Fa Cai and happy holidays everyone! :)

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JAN_5530A-WPFireworks lights up like a constellation on steroids completely canopying the midnight sky.

COLOURS OF 1MALAYSIA 2011 CELEBRATION OF ARTS AND CULTURES

This is my 550th blog post and there’s nothing more appropriate and significant than this spectacular colourful event post to celebrate the millionth page views achievement!

Colours of 1Malaysia is a signature tourism event held every year on the third Saturday of May and this year it was held on 21 May at Dataran Merdeka. It showcases the best of Malaysia’s tourism products, traditions and culture amidst richness, splendour and dazzling display. This year’s Colours of 1Malaysia marks the 13th anniversary since it was first introduced in 1999. The highlight of the Colours of 1Malaysia celebration is usually the colourful street parade. This year’s event showcases the best of Malaysia’s tourism products comprising parks and garden; sports tourism; contemporary arts; fabulous food; fruits and shopping; eco-tourism; and 1Malaysia Green 1 Malaysia Clean campaign, apart from the country’s multi-ethnic cultural performances and dazzling displays of fireworks. Continuing from the 1Malaysia Presentation and Welcome Reception this post contains pictures from the full-dress rehearsal and the official event.

The Colours of 1Malaysia festival features a street parade of 5,500 performers!

MORE IMAGES FROM COLOURS OF 1MALAYSIA STREET PARADE
1Malaysia Tourism Festival Brings Together All Colours of Life — Borneo Bulletin (954KB)

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Workers working on the Citrawarna 1Malaysia or Colours of 1Malaysia decor on the eve of the official event.

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I often wonder if the shot from the other side is any good. The Brunei Times journalist Zatty takes a shot of me taking a shot of her and fellow photojournalists at the rehearsal.

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A display of multi-ethnicity united by the beats of 1Malaysia.

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Danial Lina: I am always amazed at how you can capture the “right” moment :)
JAN SHIM PHOTOGRAPHY
: It helps to stay focused and resist temptation to over socialize. [FB]

MORE IMAGES FROM COLOURS OF 1MALAYSIA STREET PARADE

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The Colours of 1Malaysia street parade features 5,000 performers performing an array of cultural performances each offering a colourful visual treat to local spectators and international media.

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Dato’ Seri Dr. Ng Yen Yen, Tourism Minister, high fives a performer as she walks past.

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Tourism Minister gets in the groove making any necessary amendments as rehearsal progresses.

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A photo opportunity with Minister of Tourism, YB Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen in midst rehearsal.

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Performers rehearsing the “One Malaysia” and “Malaysia Boleh” patriotic chants.

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Young performers express their delight when Dato’ Ng Yen Yen assures them an after-event street party.

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The Brunei media all dressed for the Colours of 1Malaysia official launching | Renaissance Hotel KL

MORE IMAGES FROM COLOURS OF 1MALAYSIA STREET PARADE

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Old photographs on the wall of the Royal Selangor Club reminiscing the club’s long history of achievements.

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International media and travel agents congregate at the Royal Selangor Club for light refreshments and shelter from the rain.

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Call it luck or call it VIP treatment, MegaFam guests were seated right next to the the VVIP dais where Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah were seated. I could not have been more delighted for the elevated vantage point that gave me an advantage I can only describe with the photographs below.

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The A-OK gesture from Tourism Minister that everything is all set for an explosive evening.

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Arrival of His Majesty The King of Malaysia, Seri Paduka Baginda Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, Al-Wathiqu Billah Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin.

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Joining His Majesty The King of Malaysia at the official launching is Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister, YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Minister of Tourism, YB Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen

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Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah ushered by Dato’ Ng Yen Yen to Her Majesty’s seat.

Dr Ng Yen Yen said Malaysia aims to welcome 36 million tourists with receipts of RM168 billion by year 2020. She also said, “To achieve this, we’ll continue to be creative and innovative in utilising our nation’s resources such as nature, culture and history. However, the most important ingredient for Malaysia’s tourism success is the commitment, dedication and support of all Malaysians.”

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A grand prelude to the official launching is the delivery of the royal decree or ‘watikah’ in traditional horse drawn cart.

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A young participant presenting a ‘watikah’ (royal decree) to His Majesty The King of Malaysia prior to officially launching the Colours of 1Malaysia event.

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His Majesty reaches for the ‘watikah’ and proceeds to officially launch the Colours of 1Malaysia event.

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Performers raise their hands while His Majesty The King of Malaysia and his guests clap their hands in appreciation of the spectacular performance.

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Little bunny-eared performer, representing 2011 the Year of the Rabbit.

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1Malaysia Tourism Festival Brings Together All Colours of Life — Borneo Bulletin (954KB)

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LANTERNS AND FIREWORKS

G O N G  X I  F A  C A I   2 0 0 9

A year ago, I took the kids to their school where the traditional lion awakening ceremony took place. This year I missed it  for a number of good reasons—the lamest one of all is I didn’t hear about it taking place from anyone and when someone (who shall remain anonymous) did bother to tell me, it was kinda late. Tonight, however, we went for a drive around town to check out the illumination of the lanterns right after our reunion dinner. I had for a number of Chinese New Years now wanted to capture the night lights especially one of the lanterns and an old wooden house. I did just that tonight in spite of the rain.

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Last year, our new year celebrations ended with a bang as we held up a really long string of fire crackers and watched them explode and disappear very quickly. However much it cost, that quickly went up in smoke too! I liked the shot very much and as the timing of the full moon bears much significant to this cultural tradition and a hint of the lantern just completed the picture. Of course the remnants from the firecrackers debris added too the atmosphere. I am not certain if I can do a better this year considering just how wet it’s been lately, we would be very fortunate to have good weather to even let us light some up!

© Jan Shim Photography