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Fireworks Festival 花火大会

On the sunny afternoon of 2nd August, roti prata and home-made curry sat unmoving under a cloudless sky. Even as birds sang, trees rustled, and children played, they were still as stone on blue tarpaulin, unnerved at the cruel fate they were soon to meet. By the time our investigators arrived at the scene of the crime at 1906 hours, all that was left were a handful of crumbs and suspiciously large orange stainsin the evening sky.

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Thank you to all who attended this year’s SSAJ fireworks event, Happy Hanabi Hour! This year, we headed to the Itabashi Fireworks Festival, held along the Arakawa River in northern Tokyo. The festival was attended by more than 540,000 people, and the 20-minute walk from the nearest train station (Ukimafudo Station) was one giant queue, not unlike the one on Mount Fuji in summer. As soon as we made ourselves comfortable on the field, a countdown started among the audience; softly at first, but steadily growing in volume. Just as the countdown hit zero, a bright flash marked the start of the festival; 2.7 seconds later, the field resounded with a boom, eliciting whoops of delight. Over the course of the next 90 minutes, more than 11,000 fireworks were launched, turning the night sky into a palette of pyrotechnical brilliance.

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The food and drinks were great too; we had pizza and prata, and many types of happy juice. Though the ice was one big bag of unusable slush by the time we got to the field. Since it was a week before National Day, we sang Kit Chan’s Home with extra sap, before beginning the long trek back to the train station. As patriotic as we are though, we all agreed that when it comes to fireworks festivals, Japan wins hands down. Show us a 90-minute fireworks show in Singapore and maybe we’ll reconsider. If you missed this year’s event, be sure to come next year!


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