One should start the new year as one wishes to continue it, and these two Sydney locals made sure that 2015 will be a year of love.
Demi Bryant, 22, and James Hundt, 28, celebrated the beginning of the New Year atop a high-rise overlooking the iconic Sydney Harbour display, which featured seven tonnes of fireworks.
An estimated 1.6million people turned up to watch more than 10,000 aerial fireworks, 25,000 shooting comets and 100,000 pyrotechnic effects on show during this year’s New Year’s Eve display over Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.
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While much of the evening was dedicated to celebrating, floral tributes to Martin Place siege victims Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson were on display amid the evening’s fireworks.
‘It is in memory of the two young and talented people that we lost because of that siege,’ said Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore.
‘We remember the trauma the hostages experienced, the bravery of the police and we remember the way Sydney responded as we expected – an inclusive, welcoming, multicultural community,’ he said.
Sydney Harbour will be a beacon of celebration as Australia farewells another year, sending 2014 off with an extra round of fireworks. In what is believed to be a first, drones will be used to live stream the fireworks as they launch from the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and several barges in the water.
Moment of peace: Buddhists light candles during New Year celebrations at Jogye Buddhist temple in Seoul, South Korea
One down: New Zealand, along with Fiji, was among the first nations to welcome the new year at 11am GMT
Smashing show: More than 10,000 aerial fireworks, 25,000 shooting comets and 100,000 pyrotechnic effects are expected to be used
In the Chinese capital Beijing, eight hours ahead of London, an event will be held in the Olympic Park designed to highlight the capital’s bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Skaters will perform and Olympic medalist figure skater Zhao Hongbo, Paralympics gold medalist swimmer Yang Yang and pianist Lang Lang will appear.
Japan prepared for ‘osechi ryori’, the country’s biggest traditional holiday on New Year’s Day. At midnight, temple bells will strike 108 times, the number of evils, or temptations, as defined by Buddhism.
There will be fireworks and bonfires around the nation as millions of people flock to neighborhood temples and shrines to pray for health and happiness.
In Rio De Janeiro, two hours behind London and Greenwich Mean Time, more than 1million people are expected to flock on Copacabana beach, where two dozen artists and DJs will perform on three stages. Tourists and locals routinely party until dawn on the beach, staying awake to watch the tropical sun rise for the first time in 2015.
A massive fireworks display blasted from boats in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean will light the sky over the crowd, which traditionally dresses in all white, a Brazilian New Year tradition to bring purification and a peaceful year.
Another tradition calls for partygoers to enter the sea up to their knees and jump over seven waves shortly after the New Year begins, for luck.
Thousands of people have already started the festivities on Wednesday morning, streaming into Sydney’s CBD in anticipation of the evening’s spectacular fireworks
New Year’s Eve celebrations have already started across North America with New York’s traditional crystal ball already in place in Times Square.
The Waterford crystal ball will drop at midnight, in a tradition being increasingly copied across the United States with twists celebrating local icons. Las Cruces, New Mexico, is spicing up New Year’s Eve with its first chili drop. In Miami, a 10-meter (35-foot) neon orange will light up, while Atlanta and Nashville, Tennessee, will drop a peach and a musical note, respectively.
Flagstaff, Arizona, celebrates with a 2-meter (6-foot) pine cone that drops from a downtown hotel. Nearby Prescott drops a 2-meter (6-foot) spurred cowboy boot in a nod to its western culture.
On Lake Erie in Port Clinton, Ohio, the community will carry on its tradition of dropping a 270 kilogram (600 pound) walleye made of wood and fiberglass.
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula will ring in 2015 with a nod to its mining history, with a replica of a pasty – a baked pastry filled with meat and potatoes traditionally associated with Cornwall in the UK – to drop in Escanaba, one of the remote region’s largest cities. The meal was popular by miners who immigrated to Michigan decades ago.
In Scotland celebrations have been underway since Tuesday night when Edinburgh kicked off the Hogmanay festival, which is the UK’s biggest outdoor winter music festival
Large crowds are expected at the world-famous street party which will see performances from Twin Atlantic, Twilight Sad, Eddi Reader and this year’s Mercury Prize-winners, the Edinburgh-based act Young Fathers.
The concert in the gardens is being headlined by Lily Allen, who will be joined by special guests Bjorn Again and Soul II Soul. A midnight fireworks display will welcome in 2015, followed by the traditional mass rendition of Auld Lang Syne.
In London fireworks will light up the sky above the South Bank at midnight and celebrations will carry on until 12:45am with a live DJ set.
Gearing up: Fireworks are set off over Calton Hill during Edinburgh’s Hogmanay festival on Tuesday night
They sure know how to party: Men dressed as Vikings take part in the torchlight procession as it makes its way through Edinburgh for the start of the Hogmanay celebrations on Tuesday
How they do: A midnight fireworks display will welcome in 2015, followed by the traditional mass rendition of Auld Lang Syne (pictured is celebrations on Tuesday night)
Let it burn, burn, burn: A fire surrounded by revellers in viking costumes burns on Calton Hill during Edinburgh’s Hogmanay on Tuesday
Doing it big: Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, which kicked off last night, is the UK’s biggest outdoor winter music festival
Don’t drop the ball! Workers test out the lighting on the New Year’s Eve ball used in the Times Square celebration in New York
Jeffrey Straus, president of Countdown Entertainment and Brent Shafer, CEO of Philips North America, watch the Times Square crystal ball which is illuminated with 32,256 LED lights and is made up of 2,688 Waterford crystals
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