New Zealand welcomes the New Year with a fireworks show

New Zealand welcomes the New Year with a fireworks show

New Zealand welcomes the New Year with a fireworks show

Countries from across the world welcomed the year 2018 amid spectacular fireworks.

Bells will be rung and prayers offered at temples in Beijing, but the Gregorian calendar's New Year's celebrations are typically muted in China compared to the Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival, a time of fireworks, feasts and family reunions.

The Americas will be the last continents to kick off the 2018 celebrations.

Sky City - a casino and event centre in Auckland - was again the epicentre of the country's celebrations with a dramatic fireworks display. Wake up from the skyline of Sydney Harbor.

During the midnight fireworks display, a rainbow waterfall off the Sydney Harbour Bridge was planned to celebrate recently passed legislation legalizing gay marriage in Australia.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported that President Xi Jinping sent a New Year's greeting to his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, saying Beijing is ready to boost cooperation with Russia in 2018. Shinto households instead will have gone through a thorough cleaning to welcome the kami (god) believed to be visiting at New Year's.

North Korea created its own time zone in August 2015 to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation from Japanese rule, under which the Korean peninsula was forced to change its time zone to match Japan.

More than 1.5 million spectators were packing the city's foreshore to watch tonnes of pyrotechnics light up the night sky, just hours after New Zealand became the first major nation to celebrate.

Spectacular fireworks have lit up the skies in Hong Kong, Australia and elsewhere in Asia as revellers rang in 2018.

Sydney Harbour was lit up by fireworks.

Notably, several celebrations are going across the world to give a cheerful goodbye to 2017 and welcome 2018 wholeheartedly.

This article was updated with more information about New Year's celebrations in North Korea, South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia and the UAE.

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