TAIPEI - With grand-scale New Year's countdown parties in Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung, Taiwan rung in the new year yesterday alongside the island's most beloved singers - including rock group Mayday, girl band S.H.E., and electro-pop diva Jeannie Hsieh - performed for millions of revelers as the annual firework displays lit up the skies at the stroke of midnight.
In the North, Hsieh wore an eye-catching short red dress to give an energetic opening to a series of performances that made up the Taipei 101 New Year's Eve Countdown, singing hit songs including "Sister."
Music trio S.H.E. was the last to take the stage at the Taipei event, where they gave a one-hour performance crooning out several of their most beloved songs.
Mayday opened the celebrations to screaming fans at Kaohsiung's Dream Mall in South Taiwan with a 40-minute performance that featured some of their best-known songs such as "Crazy World" and "Embrace."
Also in Kaohsiung, Singaporean singer JJ Lin led up to the final seconds before the New Year's countdown, while singer Elva Hsiao was the last to take the stage at another major party at the city's E-Da World theme park.
As of 8 p.m., close to 200,000 revelers had flooded to the countdown event in Taipei, organizers said, while large crowds were being reported in other countdown parties around the island.
Usage Control by Messaging Services
Starting at 4 p.m. yesterday, mobile phone messaging service LINE put a temporary hold on more than a hundred official corporate or entity accounts, and stopped them from sending automatic messages in an effort to ensure unrestrained messaging by the public and to ease server load. Services for official accounts are scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. today.
With mobile phones becoming increasingly popular in the last decade, people had been relying more on text messages to send their New Year's greetings. Tens of millions of text messages are usually sent between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. during this time of the year.
However, more and more people have switched to free messaging services such as LINE to dispatch their New Year's tidings. As a result, New Year's greetings via text messages are expected to decline in future years. Nevertheless, domestic telecommunication companies had set up 200 extra mobile bases to handle the surge in service demand.
NU SKIN Sponsors Firework Display
At least four firework displays were held yesterday at midnight. The fireworks in Taipei featured the "Spiderman" movie figure, while the show at Janfusun Fancyworld lasted for more than 10-straight minutes, the longest in Taiwan's history.
The Taipei 101 Tower fireworks event, named one of the top-10 New Year's Eve fireworks displays in 2012 by CNN, attracts more than 1 million people each year and is broadcast to more than 25 countries around the world. The fireworks were sponsored by NU SKIN, and culminated with an illuminated NU SKIN logo on Taipei 101 yesterday.