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Say hello to 2020! Europe brings in the New Year following huge fireworks displays across the rest of the world
- People around the world are ringing in the New Year and a new decade as 2019 comes to an end at midnight
- Auckland and Sydney became the first major cities to kick off the celebrations with huge firework displays
- They were joined by Seoul, Tokyo and Pyongyang, before Hong Kong marked the New Year amid protests
- South East Asia welcomed the new year next with epic firework displays from Singapore and Thailand
- The celebrations then drove westward, with western European countries now setting the skies alight
- The UK, Brazil and America are among the countries still waiting to put on a big show for 2020
By Ryan Fahey and Sophie Tanno and Chris Pleasance for MailOnline and Afp
Published: 05:32 EST, 31 December 2019 | Updated: 19:49 EST, 31 December 2019
Billions of people around the world are celebrating the start of a new year and a new decade after the clock struck midnight across the globe.
Sydney and Auckland became the first major world cities to let rip with huge firework displays, after a handful of remote Pacific island near the international date line had already flipped the calendar to 2020.
Organisers in Sydney decided to go ahead with their show despite calls for it to be cancelled amid wildfires that have brought swathes of devastation across the country, killing at least 12 and destroying dozens of homes.
There were also fraught scenes in Hong Kong as the state marked the start of the New Year amid pro-democracy protests, as Beijing and Singapore celebrated at the same time.
It comes ahead of Brazil and America who are still set to put on a big show when their times come. Hawaii will be one of the last to mark the end of 2019.
New Year fireworks explode near the Petronas Twin Towers New Year Celebrations, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 01 Jan, 2020
The light drawing of 2020 during the New Year celebrations near the Petronas Twin Towers New Year Celebrations, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 01 January, 2020
01 January, 2020
The twin Petronas skyscrapers are temporarily overshadowed by the dazzling display of New Year’s Eve pyrotechnics
New Year fireworks light up the night sky around the Petronas Twin Towers during celebrations in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Hong Kong pro-democracy activists stage a demonstration as the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, after a year of political upheaval in the Chinese administered region
Pro-democracy protesters in a rally and revellers use their phones at the promenade of Tsim Sha Tsui district as fireworks explode over Hong Kong
A dazzling fireworks display in Hong Kong as the clock ticks over to midnight on New Year’s Eve on Tuesday night
Pro-democracy protesters take part in a march along the promenade of Tsim Sha Tsui district in Hong Kong to mark New Year
Pro-democracy protesters and people gather at the promenade of Tsim Sha Tsui district, Hong Kong, as they they take part in a rally and to celebrate New Year
Video – Dazzling rooftop fireworks display rings in New Year Eve in Hong Kong
Singapore also marked the start of 2020 with a fireworks and laser display on Marina Bay
Drones are seen in the sky forming the shape of a planet as Singapore awaits 2020 with curtain-raiser fireworks by Star Island as revellers join in the biggest countdown celebration at Marina Bay on December 31, 2019
A drone forms a light display which depicts a running man during today’s New Year’s Eve celebrations in Singapore
A light show erupts as Singaporeans celebrate the New Year tonight
Singapore awaits 2020 with curtain-raiser fireworks by Star Island as revellers join in the biggest celebration at Marina Bay
South Koreans perform on stage to celebrate New Years at the Bosingak pavilion in Seoul
Thousands of South Koreans filled cold downtown streets in Seoul ahead of a traditional bell-tolling ceremony near City Hall to send off 2019
People attend a ceremony to celebrate the new year in Seoul, South Korea
People gather to celebrate New Years at the Bosingak pavilion on January 1, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea
South Korean celebrate on New Years Eve at the Cheonggyecheon stream in Seoul, South Korea
Residents and tourists watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks show at Yulpo Beach in Yulpo, South Korea
South Korean Buddhist devotees light candles as they pray at the Jogyesa temple on New Year’s Eve in Seoul
Japanese priestesses offer up New Year prayers at Kanda Myojin Shrine in Tokyo
People visit Kanda Myojin Shrine to offer New Year prayers for the health and wealth of their families in Tokyo
A man wearing a costume with LED lights poses for a photograph during the You Make Shibuya Countdown 2019-2020 event at Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo today
Revellers release balloons as they take part in New Year countdown event in Tokyo, Japan,
Kanda Myojin Shrine
People flocked to temples and shrines in Japan, offering incense with their prayers to celebrate the passing of a year and the the first New Year’s of the Reiwa era, after a new Emperor took the throne
Video – Japanese flock to Shibuya crossing in Tokyo for New Year countdown
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a New Year’s speech as Beijing marks the start of 2020
Video – China celebrates the New Year with lights display in Beijing
Entertainers pose for photo at the countdown event to celebrate the arrival of 2020 during the New Year’s Eve celebration at Shougang Industrial Park in Beijing, China on January 1
China on January 1
A young child celebrates the arrival of the year 2020 at a New Year’s Eve countdown event at Shougang Park on December 31, 2019 in Beijing, China
People celebrate the arrival of the year 2020 at a New Year’s Eve countdown event near the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic headquarters in Beijing January 1, 2020
Fireworks exploded over Pyongyang in North Korea as the country became the latest to join in with New Year celebrations, with millions celebrating the end of the decade across the world
Video – North Korea celebrates New Year with vintage-style fireworks
Kim Jong-un will give a televised address to the North Korean people following the display, where he will lay out his priorities for the year ahead amid fears the country could restart nuclear testing
Residents of Pyongyang, where only those most loyal to Kim Jong-un’s regime live, celebrate the New Year with fireworks
Sydney went ahead with its New Year firework display despite calls for it to be cancelled amid wildfires raging across the country, with furious Australians describing it as ‘slap in the face’
Thousands of tourists and locals packed in to the city harbour and on to viewing platforms as the pyrotechnic display – which took 15 months to plan – took place
Fireworks explode over Sydney Harbour as part of New Year’s Eve celebrations in Sydney
Fireworks explode after midnight over Garuda Wisnu Kencana cultural park as part of New Year’s celebrations in Bali, Indonesia, while tens of thousands of revelers in Indonesia’s capital of Jakarta were soaked by torrential rains as they waited for New Year’s Eve fireworks.
Festive events along Indonesia’s coastal areas near the Sunda Strait were dampened by a possible larger eruption of Anak Krakatau, an island volcano that erupted last year just ahead of Christmas Day, triggering a tsunami that killed more than 430 people.
People flocked to temples and shrines in Japan, offering incense with their prayers to celebrate the passing of a year and the the first New Year’s of the Reiwa era.
Under Japan’s old-style calendar, linked to emperors’ rules, Reiwa started in May, after Emperor Akihito stepped down and his son Naruhito became emperor.
Although Reiwa is entering its second year with 2020, Jan. 1 still marks Reiwa’s first New Year’s, the most important holiday in Japan.
‘We have a new era and so I am hoping things will be better, although 2019 was also a good year because nothing bad happened,’ said Masashi Ogami, 38, who ran a sweet rice wine stall at Zojoji Temple in Tokyo, drawing a crowd of revellers.
Thousands of South Koreans filled cold downtown streets in Seoul ahead of a traditional bell-tolling ceremony near City Hall to send off an exhausting 2019 highlighted by political scandals, decaying job markets and crumbling diplomacy with North Korea.
Dignitaries picked to ring the old Bosingak bell at midnight included South Korean Major League Baseball pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu and Pengsoo, a giant penguin character with a gruff voice and blunt personality that emerged as one of the country’s biggest TV stars in 2019.
Video – Sydney rings in 2020 with spectacular fireworks over the harbour
Fireworks explode to welcome in the New Year over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House
Fireworks explode over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House during the midnight display
Fireworks explode over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House
Video – Sydney kicks off NYE celebrations with early fireworks display
Fireworks light up the sky during the New year Celebrations in the New Zealand capital of Wellington
Fireworks light up the sky during the new year celebrations in Wellington, New Zealand
Fireworks erupt over the Melbourne central business district during New Year’s Eve celebrations
Crowds watch a fireworks display during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Brisbane
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