Videos: From New York to Pyongyang: How the World Celebrated the New Year

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Fireworks explode over Big Ben as thousands gather to ring in the near year on January 1, 2018 in London, England. Crowds lined the banks of the River Thames in central London to see in 2018 with a spectacular fireworks display. After being silenced for …

Millions of people across the globe took to the streets for New Year celebrations on Sunday as the world welcomed the start of 2018.

Most celebrations involved a firework display, although some cities used the occasion for overt political messaging. Here is a round-up:

New York

In New York, thousands of revelers congregated in Times Square as the city’s iconic glittering crystal ball marked the occasion, in what was reportedly the second-coldest New Year’s Eve on record.


In Moscow, the New Year was also celebrated with a fireworks display over the Kremlin, as President Vladimir Putin called on Russians to be considerate with one another.

“Say the most cherished words to each other, forgive mistakes and resentment, admit love, warm up with care and attention,” Putin said in his New Year message. “Let the trust and mutual understanding always accompany us.”


In the United Kingdom, over 100,000 people watched the firework display from banks of the River Thames for a 12-minute firework display. The iconic clock tower Big Ben, which is currently under restoration operations, was turned back on for the occasion.


Although the Chinese New Year celebrations typically take place in February, Beijing joined in the festivities with another impressive firework display.

Many Chinese braved freezing temperatures for a celebration at the city’s Yongdingmen Gate, an iconic building used as the city’s gate during the Ming dynasty-era.


In Sydney, celebrations centered around the city’s harbor in a multi-million dollar display. The celebrations even became political, as multi-colored fireworks flew from the Sydney Harbour Bridge before finishing with a flowing rainbow river, a tribute to Australia’s historic same-sex marriage vote.


In Dubai, huge crowds came to admire the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. Authorities hosted a record-breaking LED light show rather than fireworks. The show broke a Guinness World Record for the largest ever laser light and sound show on a single structure.

The display, which took place on east side of the tower, included Arabic calligraphy, geometric designs, and a portrait of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the first president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).


Authorities in North Korea treated their citizens to a war-themed firework display as the country continues the aggressive expansion of its nuclear program.

“The entire United States is within range of our nuclear weapons, and a nuclear button is always on my desk,” said dictator Kim Jong-Un in his New Year message. “This is the reality, not a threat.”

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