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.

News
news

Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

News
people

Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling is releasing a new Harry Potter story about Dolores Umbridge
arts + entsJK Rowling to publish new story set in wizard's world for Halloween
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites those Star Wars rumours
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
people

Thought you'd seen it all after the Jeremy Paxman interview?

Arts and Entertainment
On The Apprentice, “serious” left the room many moons ago and yet still we watch
tv

Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent

Life and Style
tech

Voices
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into conflicts
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from David Ayer's 'Fury'
film

"History is violent," says the US Army tank commander Don "Wardaddy" Collier

News
The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
football

Striker's four-month ban for biting an opponent expires on Friday

News
news
News
peopleFox presenter gives her less than favourable view of women in politics
News
George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin married in Venice yesterday
peopleAmal and George Clooney 'planning third celebration in England'
Property
One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
property
Sport
Erik Lamela celebrates his goal
football

Argentinian scored 'rabona' wonder goal for Tottenham in Europa League – see it here

News
i100
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

Data Analyst/Planning and Performance – Surrey – Up to £35k

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

Chemistry Teacher

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Secondary Science Teacher Jan 20...

English Teacher

£24000 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: The Job:Te...

French Teacher for new post starting November 2014

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Preston: the job ? We are looking for...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker