The Cape Town landmark is replacing its annual fireworks with a brilliant beam of light.
In honour of the lives lost and the jobs affected in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront is replacing the fireworks with a special tribute of light symbolising renewed hope.
This will be the first time in the V&A Waterfront’s 30-year history that there won’t be the traditional countdown to a grand fireworks display at midnight to usher in the new year.
HUGE BEAM OF LIGHT VISIBLE TO MOST OF CITY
Instead, from midnight on 31 December, a light beam consisting of 36 vertical searchlights will be turned on. The beam should be visible throughout the city and suburbs that have a view of the city bowl.
According to the Waterfront, the beam of light will symbolise “the coming together of a nation in solidarity and ultimately for hope in the new year”.
“2020 has been a year in which countless lives have been lost, families separated and livelihoods destroyed – all due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic. This year, for our traditional festive season celebration, we are pausing to reflect on the year gone by with a tribute of light and hope for the new Year,” V&A Waterfront CEO David Green said.
Time for contemplation at New Year
The biggest change to the year-end celebrations will be the absence of the large crowds that usually gather in and around the Waterfront to count down to the new year and watch the display.
But, with the current COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings and an evening curfew of 21:00, it is just not possible to stage a large-scale event.
Green believes that while people cannot come together to celebrate the new year, the symbolic warmth of light will connect people even though they are physically apart.
He hoped everyone who saw it would take the time to contemplate the themes of compassion, solidarity, connection, inspiration and collaborations that had been demonstrated and experienced during a very uncertain period.
The tribute of light and hope represents hope, change, remembrance, life, courage, loss, gain, Ubuntu, and solidarity. It will shine for an hour at midnight on 31 December and then daily for an hour at 21:00 for the following six days into the new year.