Spain’s New Year fete features EU theme

January 2nd, 2010 - 3:32 am ICT by IANS  

Madrid, Jan 2 (IANS/EFE) At midnight Spain greeted its half-year rotating presidency of the European Union (EU), lighting up a dozen public buildings with the blue of the EU flag.
After the bells rang 12 times to bring in the New Year, Madrid witnessed the illumination of the Puerta de Alcala monumental arch, the Royal Palace, the Royal Theater and the Picasso Tower.

Also illuminated were the Roman aqueduct in Segovia, the Arch of Trajan in Merida, the Tower of Hercules in A Coruna, Bellver Castle in Palma de Mallorca and the Quart Towers in Valencia, among others.

But the main New Year celebration was in the downtown Madrid square of Puerta del Sol, where a special son et lumiere show began after the clock on city hall struck 12 to mark the start of 2010.

With the last chime, the niche containing the ball over the clock transformed the white light to the blue of the EU flag and the whole building was tinted that colour.

The EU’s 12 white stars were then projected onto the facade, and later the title “Presidencia Espanola de la Union Europea” (Spanish Presidency of the European Union) appeared.

Fireworks reflected on the blue facade before the sound and light show continued with a series of images of the most iconic places of the 27-member EU block, starting with the Greek Parthenon.

The unfurling of a Spanish flag and Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” closed the spectacle, which served as the start of the six-month EU presidency.

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