The world has begun marking the start of 2016, with New Zealand the latest nation to ring in the new year, agencies report. Sydney is set for its spectacular fireworks display at 1pm UK time. According to reports, there will be 23,000 tonnes of fireworks for the show in the city’s harbour.
More than one million people are gathering along the famed harbour to watch a display featuring a multicoloured firework “waterfall” cascading off the Harbour Bridge and pyrotechnic effects in the shapes of butterflies, octopuses and flowers. Thousands are also expected to gather in Melbourne, where 11 tonnes of fireworks will be set off.
In London, extra armed officers have been called in to police the New Year’s Eve celebrations later. Tickets have sold out for the London Mayor’s official fireworks display on the South Bank. Those without tickets are being advised to see the new year in at home or at bars across the capital.
Paris has also called off its traditional display in the Champs-Elysees as it remains on high alert following last month’s terror attacks. The French capital will also have 11,000 officers patrolling the city compared with 9,000 last year. Around one million revellers will converge on New York’s Times Square for the annual celebration there.
The huge party on Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Beach will have two themes: the 100th anniversary of samba music and the upcoming Olympics, which the Brazilian city will host in August. More than two million people are expected to converge on the beach.
Security has also been increased in Malaysia’s biggest city, Kuala Lumpur. There, fireworks will ring in the new year at a historical square as well as at the Petronas Twin Towers, one of the world’s tallest towers.
In the Philippines, stray bullets and exploding firecrackers have killed one person and injured almost 200 others as the country celebrates the beginning of 2016. In Japan, New Year’s Eve is the nation’s biggest holiday, with millions expected to leave the cities and head to their hometowns. As midnight approaches, many families visit neighbourhood temples, where huge bronze bells are rang.
China is planning an official celebration near Beijing’s Forbidden City, which will include performances and fireworks. A gala will also be held at the Bird’s Nest stadium. In Thailand, tens of thousands are expected to mark the start of 2016 at the same intersection where a pipe bomb killed 20 people.
Up to 5,000 police will be in the area around the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, with explosive ordnance disposal experts making a sweep ahead of time.