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New Year Celebrations around the world
January 1, 2015, 11:14 am

From Sydney to London, spectacular fireworks displays have lit up skies across the world as it gradually turned 2015 in every time zone. The central London event was a ticket-only affair with an audience of 100,000 paying £10 to watch from the banks of the Thames. Belfast saw in the New Year with more of a whimper than a bang of fireworks after council officials blamed the economic downturn for the lack of civic celebrations.

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay headline act was Lily Allen as a torchlight procession began with thousands dressed in Viking costume. In Stonehaven, the traditional fireball parade took place shortly before midnight. Other free firework events were held in the centre of Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff and Dublin.

One of the world’s first major cities to celebrate the start of 2015 was Sydney, Australia, where around 1.5m spectators were treated to a 12-minute tropical-style pyrotechnic display, featuring shimmering gold and silver palm trees. Amid the festivities was a sombre reminder of how 2014 was punctuated by tragedy, as a tribute was paid to the two hostages who died during the siege at a café in downtown Sydney in December.

In the Philippines, people have been writing their wishes for 2015 on a wall in Quezon city, metro Manila. In the Philippines, people have been writing their wishes for 2015 on a wall in Quezon city, metro Manila.  Meanwhile in Iraq, swathes of which was seized by Isis fighters in 2014, authorities in the capital, Baghdad, attempted to raise spirits by temporarily lifting an overnight curfew which has been in force for more than a decade.

Not a place which does things by halves, Dubai aimed to break the world record for the largest LED-illuminated façade by wrapping some 70,000 LED panels wrapped around the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. In Hong Kong, China, pro-Democracy protesters took to the streets with umbrellas which symbolise their movement. 

And more than 1 million people are expected to flock to Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach, where two dozen artists and DJs will perform on three stages and tourists and locals routinely party until dawn on New Year’s Eve. However, New Year’s Eve will be a sombre affair in Indonesia, where vigils will likely outnumber celebrations following the loss of AirAsia Flight 8501 and a deadly landslide in Central Java. In the capital, the city conducted prayers for the victims of the tragedies, in addition to the annual Jakarta Night Festival.

Fireworks explode over Moscow's Red Square to welcome 2015. The projection of Spassky (Saviour) tower is seen over the scaffold covering the tower, which is under renovation.

Fireworks light up the London skyline behind Big Ben just after midnight at the start of 2015.

Fireworks illuminate the sky above Munich, Germany, after the arrival of 2015.

Fireworks explode over an Amsterdam canal during New Year's celebrations.

Fireworks light up the Sydney Harbour Bridge during the annual fireworks display to usher in 2015. More than 10,000 aerial fireworks, 25,000 shooting comets and 100,000 pyrotechnic effects were used during the annual Sydney Harbour New Year's Eve show, with an estimated 1.6 million people watching from along the harbor foreshore, local media reported.

Fireworks explode near Malaysia's landmark Petronas Towers during the New Year celebrations in Kuala Lumpur.

South Korea
A woman prays during New Year celebrations at Jogye Buddhist temple in Seoul, South Korea, on 1 January, 2015.

Fireworks light up the sky outside the Philippine Arena in Bocaue town, north of Manila, Philippines.

People watch New Year's fireworks at Barra beach in Salvador, Brazil.

Hong Kong
Fireworks explode over Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong on 1 January, 2015. Just like previous years, the city's iconic skyline along Victoria Harbor lit up with an eight-minute pyrotechnic display, as tens of thousdands of partygoers flock to the waterfront to celebrate.

Fireworks explode during New Year's Eve celebrations at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto.


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