New Year celebrations start across globe

New Year celebrations start across globe

SYDNEY: As the turn of 2018 approaches, celebrations are getting underway across the world to welcome in the new year. Be it in sunny Sydney or wintry Edinburgh, revellers on all sides of the globe are getting together to celebrate before – and after – the clock strikes midnight.

Samoa, the tiny pacific island was the first country to welcome in 2018, with New Zealand following an hour later.

Australia has lit up the sky with bright fireworks in an impressive ringing in of 2018. Excited crowds gathered around Sydney Harbour Bridge for the mind-blowing light display, with the fireworks exploding at the stroke of midnight in front of a happy crowd of more than one million people.

The water was turned rainbow with excited crowds cheering as they welcomed the new year. Explosions of color also lit up the night in Auckland, with the country one of the first to see 2018, just after Tonga.

People donned corny hats, making outlandish resolutions and plans for the next year. The last place or places to receive 2018 will be the tiny outlying islands of the US.

In New Zealand, half a tonne of fireworks set off from Auckland’s Sky Tower. Preparations for the display had reportedly begun six months ago to guarantee the coordination of the 3,000 fireworks.

Half a tonne of fireworks were set off from Auckland’s Sky Tower as the clock struck midnight at 11am GMT.

Over 24 hours, cities across the world will gradually sign off 2017 and welcome the New Year, starting in the Pacific, heading across Asia, then Europe and finally the Americas.

Bells will be rung and prayers offered at temples in Beijing, but the Gregorian calendar’s New Year’s celebrations are typically muted in China compared to the Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival.

In the Philippines, hours before midnight, authorities had already reported that at least 86 people had been injured by celebratory firecrackers which have some of the most raucous New Year’s celebrations in Asia.

Many Filipinos believe that noisy New Year’s celebrations drive away evil and misfortune.

Security measures are ramped up across Turkey, which was hit by a New Year’s attack a year ago that killed dozens in Istanbul.

A large number of people gathered outside the nightclub to remember the victims of the attack today. In Istanbul alone, 37,000 personnel are on duty. Several New Year’s Eve street parties were cancelled for security reasons.