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New Year celebrations: How the world marked the start of 2024 | World News

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Countries around the world are celebrating the start of 2024, as the New Year arrives around the globe.

Celebrations were led by the Pacific islands, who were the first to see the sunrise on a new year.

Here’s how the start of 2024 has been rung in across the world.

Pacific islands, including Samoa and Kiribati Island

The Pacific nation of Kiribati was the first country to see in the new year.

The country’s largest island, Kiritimati – which is also known as Christmas Island – entered 2024 at 10am UK time.

It was closely followed by its neighbours Samoa and Tonga.

New Zealand

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New Zealand welcomes in 2024

Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand
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Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland welcomed in the new year with a fireworks display over its tallest building, the Sky Tower.

The tip of the 1,076ft (328m) communications and observation tower lit up in different colours as fireworks exploded in the cloudy night sky.

They were accompanied by a laser light and animation show.

Australia

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Fireworks over Sydney as Oz welcomes 2024

Fireworks explode over Sydney Harbour as New Year's Eve celebrations get underway in Sydney, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP Image via AP)
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Sydney Harbour, Australia

The Yarra River, Melbourne, Australia
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The Yarra River, Melbourne, Australia

Sydney said hello to 2024 with a dazzling firework display featuring silver and gold pyrotechnics to mark the 50th anniversary of its famous Opera House.

The 12-minute show, which was accompanied by lasers and pyrotechnics, lit up the sky above the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

More than a million people – equivalent to one in five of the city’s residents – watched from the shore and from boats.

North Korea, South Korea and Japan

Bosingak Pavilion, Seoul, South Korea
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Bosingak Pavilion, Seoul, South Korea

Bosingak Pavilion in Seoul, South Korea
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Bosingak Pavilion in Seoul, South Korea

Senso-ji temple in Taito Ward, Tokyo
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Senso-ji temple in Taito Ward, Tokyo

Itsukushima shrine in Hatsukaichi City, Hiroshima
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Itsukushima shrine in Hatsukaichi City, Hiroshima

In Seoul, a bell tolling and countdown ceremony took place in Bosingak Pavilion.

Pyongyang said goodbye to 2023 with a fireworks display at Kim II Sung Square.

Crowds gathered at a temple in central Tokyo to watch a traditional bell-ringing ceremony, known as Joya no Kane.

And in Hiroshima, Japan, groups of people celebrated the New Year at a large torch festival.

Young people carried the torch near Itsukushima shrine in Hatsukaichi City as crowds of tourists watched.

Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Singapore and the Philippines

Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong
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Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong

Fireworks explode over Victoria Harbour to celebrate the New Year in Hong Kong
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Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong

Taipei 101 Tower in Taipei, Taiwan
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Taipei 101 Tower in Taipei, Taiwan

Marina Bay, Singapore
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Marina Bay, Singapore

Marina Bay, Singapore
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Marina Bay, Singapore

Fireworks explode over Rockwell Center in celebration of the New Year in Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines, January 1, 2024. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez
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Fireworks explode over Rockwell Center in Manila, Philippines

Hong Kong had its biggest ever display to kick off 2024 – lasting 12-minutes, fireworks were set off from the rooftops of some of the island’s skyscrapers.

In Beijing, China, crowds gathered to watch the New Year countdown in Shougang Park.

Taiwan welcomed in 2024 with fireworks and a countdown from the Taipei 101 building.

And fireworks, set against illuminated tower blocks, lit up the night sky in the Philippines capital of Manila at the stroke of midnight.

Thailand

The Grand Palace Bangkok, Thailand
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The Grand Palace Bangkok, Thailand

The Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand
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The Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand

New Year celebrations in Bangkok, Thailand saw a rainbow of fireworks explode over the Chao Phraya River.

India

Juhu Beach on the Arabian Sea in Mumbai, India
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Juhu Beach on the Arabian Sea in Mumbai, India

Ahmedabad, India
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Ahmedabad, India

Festivities took place in cities around India including New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

Thousands of people from the financial hub of Mumbai flocked to a bustling promenade to watch the sun set over the Arabian Sea.

In less romantic scenes, fireworks in New Delhi raised concerns that the capital – which is already infamous for its poor air quality – would be blanketed by a toxic haze on the first morning of the new year.

Pakistan

Clifton beach in Karachi, Pakistan
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Clifton beach in Karachi, Pakistan

Karachi, Pakistan
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Karachi, Pakistan

Festivities in Pakistan were muted after the government banned all New Year’s Eve celebrations as an act of solidarity with Palestinians.

Caretaker prime minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar called on Pakistanis to “show solidarity with the oppressed people of Gaza” by starting 2024 with simplicity.

A candlelight protest against Israeli airstrikes on Gaza was held in the city of Karachi.

United Arab Emirates (UAE), Russia, Ukraine

Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
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Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Outside the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, Russia
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Outside the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, Russia

Moscow, Russia
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Moscow, Russia

Red Square, Moscow, Russia
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Red Square, Moscow, Russia

Fireworks exploded up and down the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, as clocks struck midnight in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Meanwhile Abu Dhabi boasted the “largest fireworks display in the world,” with organisers saying the show lasted 40 minutes.

Russia’s new year celebrations were overshadowed by its military actions in Ukraine, with the usual fireworks and concert on Moscow’s Red Square cancelled for a second year running.

Authorities in several Russian cities have pledged to send money to front lines instead.

Despite the cancelled celebrations, crowds of Muscovites and visitors still celebrated in the city centre.

Greece and South Africa

Parthenon temple on the Acropolis Hill in Athens, Greece
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Parthenon temple on the Acropolis Hill in Athens, Greece

Parthenon temple on the Acropolis Hill in Athens, Greece
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Parthenon temple on the Acropolis Hill in Athens, Greece

A dazzling show took place over the ancient Parthenon temple at the Acropolis in Athens.

Meanwhile fireworks were launched into the sky in Cape Town with the iconic Table Mountain lit up below.

Germany, Rome and Paris

The Quadriga sculpture on Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany
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The Quadriga sculpture on Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany

The Arc de Triomphe, Paris
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The Arc de Triomphe, Paris

Dancers perform during a New Year's celebration on the Champs Elysees in Paris, France, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023. (AP Photo/Aurelien Morissard)
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Dancers perform in Paris. Pic: AP

Crowds gathered in Berlin to celebrate New Year’s Eve at the Brandenburg Gate, while in Rome, fireworks illuminated the city sky.

In Paris, acrobats performed ahead of fireworks near the Arc de Triomphe.

London

Some 12,000 fireworks, 600 drones and 430 lights were involved in a display of nearly 15 minutes around the London Eye on the Thames.

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Watch London fireworks in full

Pic: AP
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Pic: AP

The show lived up to the spectacular displays the city’s become known for.

The mayor’s office called it the “biggest-ever fireworks, lights and drone show over the River Thames”.

It also featured drones drawing images in the sky – all set to music by the likes of the Spice Girls, Beyonce, Louis Armstrong, The Kinks and Dua Lipa.

And there were voice recordings from the King, Dame Helen Mirren, Stephen Fry, Joanna Lumley, and Baroness Floella Benjamin, who read a poem by the late Benjamin Zephaniah.

Edinburgh

Hogmanay celebrations were also in full swing in Scotland’s capital, with crowds from around the world flocking to the city and the area around the iconic castle.

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Hogmanay celebrations in Edinburgh

Thousands of people were at the sold-out Princes Garden Street Party and Concert in the Gardens for the festival’s 30th anniversary.

Indie band Pulp also played as part of the festivities.

Rio de Janeiro

Crowds packed the Brazilian city’s famous Copacabana beach as usual for a colourful display launched from platforms in the sea.

Pic: AP
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Pic: AP

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Rio crowds watch NYE fireworks from beach

Most of Brazil and much of South America welcomed the New Year at 3am UK time.

However, countries such as Ecuador, Colombia and Peru are a few hours behind.

New York

Perhaps the world’s most well-known New Year moment, Manhattan’s Times Square had people lining up from the early morning.

Volunteers throw confetti as the clock strikes midnight. Pic: AP
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Volunteers throw confetti as the clock strikes midnight. Pic: AP

There were performances by the likes of Megan Thee Stallion, LL Cool J and Tyla before the famous ball dropped at midnight.

New York, New York by Frank Sinatra rang out, confetti filled the air, and many people grabbed a kiss with their partner to mark the start of 2024.

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