I went to the Hong Kong Tourism Board's New Year countdown at Victoria Harbour with a bleak expectation of what conditions would be like.
Weathermen had forecast a sharp drop in the temperature that evening, with rain too. So I thought we would be ushering in a cold and damp New Year.
But it turned out that the sky was clear and the wind slight at the Tsim Sha Tsui East seafront. I found the air refreshing but not chilly, and it added to the jovial mood of the event.
The show was sponsored by the Bank of Communications. The lender is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and it must have been happy to be able to share a joyful occasion with people in such good weather.
The sky was lit by dazzling fireworks after the chairman of the bank's board of supervisors, Song Shuguang, and CEO Wang Feng got the show under way alongside Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.
As the spectator stand was only a short distance from the barge from which the fireworks were launched, it felt like having pyrotechnic stars shooting skyward all around me.
The closing part was particularly spectacular, with fireworks fired in close succession to suggest a glistening tree. Their popping sounds accompanied by beautiful pyromusic created a rich and jubilant atmosphere.
The tourism board tenders live broadcast rights for the show every year, with technical ratings a factor.
The broadcaster this year was ViuTV, and with technical support from PCCW the station beamed the pyromusic to the satellite for broadcasting in different places. A Lucinda from the tourism board told me that live broadcasters of the show also included CNN, the BBC and CCTV.
The organizer also arranged performances, which included an invitation to singer George Lam Chi-cheung for the closing act.
Due to technical reasons Lam went on stage only after the firework show. The huge audience found this arrangement a pleasant surprise, however, and naturally few left after the fireworks display was over.
is publisher of Sing Tao Daily