New Year celebrations highlights: Farewell 2017, hello 2018

In Auckland, New Zealand's biggest city, tens of thousands gathered around Sky Tower as five minutes of nonstop pyrotechnics exploded from the structure's upper decks.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: January 1, 2018 10:34:51 am
People gather at the Gateway Of India in Mumbai to celebrate New Year. (Express photo by Janak Rathod).

Tens of thousands of Indians took to streets to welcome 2018. As the new year dawned, fireworks boomed and crackled in different cities of the country while party-goers sang, hugged and danced. New Zealand and Australia were the first countried to usher in the New Year 2018. Both the countries welcomed the year 2018 amidst spectacular fireworks. In Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city, tens of thousands gathered around Sky Tower as five minutes of nonstop pyrotechnics exploded from the structure’s upper decks.

Meanwhile, Australians also welcomed 2018 with a rainbow-themed fireworks in Sydney.

SEE PICS: Happy New Year 2018: STUNNING photos of the world welcoming the New Year

“This is a fabulous way to see out 2017 — the year that four out of five Sydneysiders said a resounding ‘Yes’ to marriage equality,” Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore told AFP.

New Year celebrations highlights: 

10:25 am: Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu participated in New Year celebrations in Vijayawada last night.

10:20 am: 

9:50 am: India rings in New Year here is what all our leaders wished the nation on this occasion. READ HERE

8:52 am:

8:45 am: As India awakes to a new year, here is looking ahead to all that will dominate the Indian news cycle over the coming 12 months. READ HERE

8:25 am: Happy New Year to everybody. May 2018 bring laughter, friendship and prosperity to all our families, to our country, and to our unique and beautiful planet, wishes President of India, Ramnath Kovind.

8:17 am: In Scotland, a torchlight procession began Edinburgh’s famed Hogmanay New Year’s Eve celebration.

8:16 am:  Buddhists lit candles during New Year celebrations at Jogyesa temple in Seoul, South Korea. Meanwhile, some 100 people gathered outside the Reina nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey, to remember victims of a New Year’s mass shooting a year ago.

8:15 am: Hundreds of couples took part in a mass wedding ceremony in Jakarta, Indonesia on New Year’s Eve designed to help the poor who were unable to afford a proper wedding, reported AP.

8:05 am:

8:01 am: President Donald Trump capped 2017 with a video self-tribute touching on what he sees as the high points of his achievements and rhetoric from his first year in office

7:56 am: New year is being celebrated across the country with great zeal and fervour with prayers being offered in churches, temples and mosques.

7:37 am: Special Ganga aarti performed in Varanasi on the first day of 2018.

7:30 am: North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un once again issue new threats in 2018, in his New year’s speech the rogue leader said the country’s nuclear forces are a reality, and he has “nuclear button” on his desk.

7:18 am: Wishing you all a happy 2018! I pray that this year brings joy, prosperity and good health in everyone’s lives, tweets Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

7:00 am: Welcome to a new year, 2017 is gone now, new day awaits in 2018. We from the Indian Express family wish you great success and a Happy New Year.

1.01 am: ANI reported that WhatsApp services have now been restored in India.

12.45 am: Celebratory images from different parts of India.

12.40 am: Amid celebrations and new year greetings, reports suggest messaging app WhatsApp was down in parts of the world. According to website downdetector.co.uk, WhatsApp was having issues in UK, Barbados, South Africa, Spain, and Qatar.

00.00 am: And its midnight! Happy New Year to all Indians.

11.30 pm: Security heightened in New Delhi on New Year’s eve, reports ANI.

10.16 pm: Fireworks explode over Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre during a pyrotechnic show to celebrate the New Year in Hong Kong, China January 1, 2018.

09.45 pm: Fireworks explode above Singapore’s financial district at the stroke of midnight to mark the New Year’s celebrations on Monday, January 1, 2018, in Singapore.

09.30 pm: Fireworks light up North Korea’s Pyongyang welcoming New Year 2018.

09.15 pm: Fireworks explode over Lotte Group’s 123-storey skyscraper Lotte World Tower as it is illuminated during New Year celebration in Seoul, South Korea, January 1, 2018.

09.10 pm: People release balloons as they celebrate New Year event 2018 in Tokyo, Japan January 1, 2018.

09.00 pm: Mumbai celebrates New Year’s Eve with only a few hours left before ushering 2018.

08.30 pm: 

08.00 pm: Many Japanese are celebrating the arrival of the Year of the Dog in the traditional way of praying for peace and good fortune at neighbourhood Shinto shrines, and eating New Year’s food such as noodles, shrimp and sweet black beans.

07.30 pm: Tonga celebrates to welcome 2018

07.00 pm: Watch Australia celebrate New Year 2018

06.30 pm: Fireworks light Australia’s Sydney Habour to welcome New Year 2018

05.30 pm:  As the new year dawned in this southern hemisphere nation, fireworks boomed and crackled above city centres and harbours, and party-goers sang, hugged, danced and kissed. In Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city, tens of thousands gathered around Sky Tower as five minutes of nonstop pyrotechnics exploded from the structure’s upper decks.

04.35 pm: Auckland, New Zealand welcomes New Year 2018 with spectacular fireworks

3.30 pm: We would like to use this opportunity to remind our readers to not drink and drive tonight. Party responsibly. Say no to drugs. And stay safe.

3.15 pm: India, pay attention. It is a tradition in Brazil to eat lentils on New Year, apart from throwing white flowers into the sea, as they believe it would bring them good fortune. Dal fry, anyone?

3.00 pm:  Do you enjoy champagne, oysters and a bit of caviar? A Singapore bar which calls itself as the “worlds’ highest cryptocurrency club” is offering a New Year package that would cost you just one bitcoin. Given the exchange rate at which a bitcoin is currently being traded for, it comes as no surprise that the package includes a limousine pick-up and butler service. What is more, you ask? The bar, Skyline, is located on the 45th floor of a skyscraper that overlooks Singapore’s “glittering waterfront”.

2.45 pm: Trivia time: Wonder when the first New Year was celebrated? It was in 45 B.C, according to the Evening Standard.

The practice apparently discontinued during the Middle Ages and was revived by the Greeks, who used to celebrate the New Year on December 20. The Persians, meanwhile, began their new year around September 20, it notes.

2.30 pm: According to Metro, uninhabited US islands, Baker and Howland, will be the last to celebrate the New Year.

2.15 pm: Here is a brief list of countries which will be among the first to ring in the New Year: Tonga, New Zealand, Australia, Japan & South Korea, North Korea, China, Philippines, Singapore, Most of Indonesia, Myanmar and Cocos Islands, Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Sri Lanka, Pakistan.

2.00 pm: In another few hours, the clock will strike 12.00 am in New Zealand, marking the beginning of New Year festivities.

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