New Year Celebrations: from Kiritimati to Samoa – via Britain

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

Small beginnings of the big night (10:00-11:00 GMT) 2013 began on the little Pacific island where the sun always rises first. Kiritimati, or Christmas Island, the easternmost island of the nation of Kiribati, is the first significant human habitation west of the international date line. Its inhabitants were the first to usher in the new year, followed an hour later by revellers in Auckland, New Zealand.

When one New Year’s Eve is not enough (13:00 GMT)

In Sydney, Australia, two hours further west, the sky above the Harbour Bridge erupted to the sound of £4.2m exploding fireworks. Officials claimed 1.5 million people turned out to watch the show. Among them were film stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Jamie Foxx, who were reported to have flown from Canberra to Las Vegas, 17 hours behind Sydney, to do it all again.

Rockets launched from Pyongyang (15:00-16:00 GMT)

As Japan’s traditional “watch-night” bells rang out 108 times in temples around the country, North Korea was reported to have held its first ever New Year’s Eve fireworks display. Not to be outdone by Sydney, Hong Kong’s £1m firework display was said to be the biggest in the island’s history.

Burmese revellers come in from the cold (17:30 GMT)

In another first, tens of thousands of revellers took to the streets of Rangoon, Burma’s largest city, for the country’s first major public celebration of the new year. Under the military junta large public gatherings were banned, but since the regime gave up power two years ago, the Burmese people have enjoyed unprecedented new freedoms. In neighbouring India, many events were cancelled and celebrations subdued as a mark of respect to “Damini”, the 23-year-old gang-rape victim whose death has shocked the nation.

Big bangs and big spenders in Dubai (21:00 GMT)

While reports in the UK suggested that more than half of us stayed at home on New Year’s Eve to save money and avoid the inclement weather, one yachting club in Dubai was offering £40,414 for a chartered 165ft yacht from which to watch fireworks at the world’s tallest building, the  Burj Khalifa.

2013 comes to Europe (21:00-23:00)

Fireworks lit up Moscow’s Red Square as 2013 sped westwards and a special concert was held at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate featuring music from the Pet Shop Boys, Bonnie Tyler and, oddly, British boy band Blue. Fireworks displays were also held in Amsterdam, Stockholm and Paris, where revellers flocked to the Champs-Elysees for a view of the rockets launched from the  Eiffel Tower

London’s Olympic year comes to an end (Midnight GMT)

In London, Britain’s Olympic year came to a fitting conclusion as 150 volunteers from the Games helped to steward revellers at a fireworks display above the Thames. More than 250,000 were expected to defy the rain, lining the river to watch a display centred on the London Eye. Boris Johnson promised that 2013 “would be every bit as exciting as 2012”. In Derry-Londonderry, the biggest fireworks display ever seen in the area started early at 8:13pm, as the city celebrated becoming the UK’s first City of Culture. As usual, record crowds were expected at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations.

Rio spectacular (02:00 GMT)

Crowds in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro were wowed by a 16-minute firework display at Copacabana Beach. But in Venezuela, a traditional end-of-year concert in Caracas was cancelled, with the mayor impelling people to stay at home to pray for President Hugo Chavez, who has suffered complications following cancer surgery.

Party at Roman’s (04:00 GMT)

Russian billionaire and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich saw in 2013 at a lavish £5m party at his estate on the Caribbean island of St Bart’s, with 400 guests in attendance.

Gangnam style (05:00 GMT)

Security was tight in New York’s Times Square as the US welcomed the new year. With hundreds of thousands crowding in to watch the traditional ball dropping ceremony, the city’s police commissioner, Ray Kelly, promised that the Square would the “safest place in the world” to party. Rapper Psy led the crowd in a mass rendition of “Gangnam Style”.  

Revels ended (11:00 GMT)

The global celebrations will come to an end in American Samoa this morning. Its neighbour Samoa used to celebrate new year on the same day, but a change to the international date line last year has left the two countries 25 hours apart.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - OTE £42,000

£28000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be joining a leading s...

SThree: Associate Recruitment Consultant -Engineering -Renewable Energy

£18000 - £23000 per annum + competitive: SThree: As an Associate Recruitment C...

Recruitment Genius: B2B Media Sales Professional - Work From Home

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Enjoying rapid growth we contin...

Recruitment Genius: B2B Media Sales Professional - Work From Home

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Enjoying rapid growth we contin...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map