31 December 2019 12:57

KIRIBATI Auckland is the first major city in the world to celebrate New Year.


2020 gets off to a flying start with a fireworks displays around Auckland City A spectacular fireworks display from the Sky Tower has launched Auckland into a new decade. New Zealand's largest fireworks display was accompanied by lasers and animations, a first for the Sky Tower. Light shows from the Harbour Bridge and Light Path cycleway were also synchronised with the 2020 celebrations, washing the Auckland skyline in an array of colours. Dave Rowland Partygoers celebrate during Auckland's New Year's Eve celebrations. Auckland is th first major city in the world to celebrate each New Year, thanks to time zones.


READ MORE: * Auckland's New Year's Eve fireworks: Times, road closures and where to watch * Auckland's New Years Eve fireworks flash around the world * Auckland Harbour Bridge to light up in time with Sky Tower fireworks on New Year's Eve Its fireworks for 2020 were watched live around the globe, with parts of the display broadcast on the BBC in the UK and other networks worldwide. Other cities across New Zealand also host fireworks, parties and celebrations. Here's how some of the rest of the world is ushering in 2020: AUSTRALIA Dave Rowland Dellasey and Divene, aged 5, out to watch the fireworks in Auckland. Sydney's famous fireworks display is controversially going ahead despite widespread fires across New South Wales and Victoria. More than a quarter of a million people in Australia signed a petition seeking to cancel the fireworks.


Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore said the fireworks were planned 15 months in advance and couldn't be canned. She said the display generates AU$130 million (NZ$135m) for the NSW economy. STACY SQUIRES/STUFF Families enjoyed warm weather and music to see in the new year at Christchurch's Hagley Park. A display is also going ahead in Melbourne, and tens of thousands of people have lined the Brisbane River to watch its fireworks display. KIRIBATI Auckland is the first major city in the world to celebrate New Year.

The Pacific island nation of Kiribati was one of the first countries to welcome the new decade. The nation's 3200 coral atolls are strewn more than 3 million square miles, straddling the equator. As the new year begins, Kiribati finds itself on the front line of the battle against climate change, facing drought and rising sea levels. In 2020, a project funded by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Green Climate Fund and Kiribati's government brings hope of providing safe and climate-secure drinking water to the main island of Tarawa, which is home to most of the nation's 110,000 people. Dave Rowland Dancing in the street in Auckland for New Year's Eve. SAMOA In Samoa, New Year's Eve was more sombre than usual. While fireworks erupted at midnight from Mount Vaea, overlooking the capital, Apia, the end of the year was a time of sadness and remembrance. A measles epidemic in late 2019 claimed 81 lives, mostly children under 5. Asanka Ratnayake Crowds arrive to get a vantage spot to view the fireworks during New Year's Eve celebrations in Melbourne, Australia. More than 5600 measles cases were recorded in the nation of just under 200,000. With the epidemic now contained, the Samoa Observer newspaper named as its Person of the Year health workers who fought the outbreak. "We have experienced extreme sadness and sorrow," the newspaper said. "Since the first measles death, the pain has only deepened. But amidst much hopelessness and tears, we have also seen the best of mankind in this country's response." HONG KONG James Gourley People wearing glow in the dark costumes at Mrs Macquarie's Chair waiting for the New Year in Sydney, Australia. This year's New Year's Eve midnight fireworks display, famously known for lighting up Hong Hong's iconic skyline, has been cancelled. The Hong Kong Tourism Board announced that it had made a last-minute decision to scrap the event and instead create a special New Year's themed version of its daily light show. It also said that an online lotto will be drawn at midnight to keep people interested in the countdown to 2020. Lee Jin-man A woman walks near a sign "Free HK" during a rally in Hong Kong on Monday. The city's fireworks have been cancelled this year. The decision was made after organisers of Hong Kong's protest rallies announced that a mass demonstration would be held to mark the first day of January. SOUTH KOREA Thousands of South Koreans filled cold downtown streets in Seoul ahead of a traditional bell-tolling ceremony near City Hall to send off 2019. Ahn Young-joon People pose for photos to celebrate ahead of the New Year in Seoul, South Korea. Dignitaries picked to ring the old Bosingak bell at midnight included South Korean Major League Baseball pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu and Pengsoo - a giant penguin character with a gruff voice and blunt personality that emerged as one of the country's biggest TV stars in 2019. The annual tolling of the "peace bell" at Imjingak park near the border with North Korea was cancelled due to quarantine measures following an outbreak of African swine fever. Scroll menus Show / Hide Left Slide Menu Show / hide menu on the right Show / hide Top slide menu Show / hide lower slide menu Sign in with Published on December 31, 2019 at 15.28 A look at how the world 2020 heralds: Image: Twitter NEW ZEALAND: The major cities of New Zealand greeted the New Year with traditional fireworks. In Auckland, half a ton of fireworks burst from the Sky Tower above the city center. New Zealanders saw the New Year without regret. On March 15, a lone gunman identified 51 people and injured dozens at two mosques in the city of Christchurch on the South Island. In December, an eruption of volcanic White Island off the east coast of the North Island killed at least 19 tourists and guides. Download KT app All new KT app is available to download: MORE GALLERIES Category ALLNation International Business Sports Entertainment Stars at KT Welcome 2020 International – Newest galleries advertisement

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