New Year 2015: from Sydney to Beijing, the best photos from celebrations around the world

Australia was among the first places to ring in 2015

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The Independent Online

From Sydney to London, spectacular fireworks displays have lit up skies across the world as it gradually turned 2015 in every time zone. The central London event was a ticket-only affair with an audience of 100,000 paying £10 to watch from the banks of the Thames.

Belfast saw in the New Year with more of a whimper than a bang of fireworks after council officials blamed the economic downturn for the lack of civic celebrations.

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay headline act was Lily Allen as a torchlight procession began with thousands dressed in Viking costume.

In Stonehaven, the traditional fireball parade took place shortly before midnight. Other free firework events were held in the centre of Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff and Dublin.

One of the world’s first major cities to celebrate the start of 2015 was Sydney, Australia, where around 1.5m spectators were treated to a 12-minute tropical-style pyrotechnic display, featuring shimmering gold and silver palm trees.

Amid the festivities was a sombre reminder of how 2014 was punctuated by tragedy, as a tribute was paid to the two hostages who died during the siege at a café in downtown Sydney in December.

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Australians welcome in the New Year in Sydney (EPA)

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In the Philippines, people have been writing their wishes for 2015 on a wall in Quezon city, metro Manila.

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Performers dressed in Santa Claus celebrate in Baghdad, Iraq (AP)

Meanwhile in Iraq, swathes of which was seized by Isis fighters in 2014, authorities in the capital, Baghdad, attempted to raise spirits by temporarily lifting an overnight curfew which has been in force for more than a decade.

 

Not a place which does things by halves, Dubai aimed to break the world record for the largest LED-illuminated façade by wrapping some 70,000 LED panels wrapped around the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.

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In Hong Kong, China, pro-Democracy protesters took to the streets with umbrellas which symbolise their movement. (EPA)

And more than 1 million people are expected to flock to Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach, where two dozen artists and DJs will perform on three stages and tourists and locals routinely party until dawn on New Year’s Eve.

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A vigil for victims of the AirAsia flight QZ8501 crash in Surabaya, Indonesia (Getty)

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Indonesians hold candles during a vigil

However, New Year’s Eve will be a sombre affair in Indonesia, where vigils will likely outnumber celebrations following the loss of AirAsia Flight 8501 and a deadly landslide in Central Java. In the capital, the city conducted prayers for the victims of the tragedies, in addition to the annual Jakarta Night Festival.

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Fireworks light up the London skyline and Big Ben just after midnight (Getty)

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Concert goers celebrate the New Year at Madison Square Garden New York City

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Performers celebrate the arrival of 2015 at the Olympic Park in Beijing (EPA)

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The Hogmanay New Year celebrations in Edinburgh (PA)

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Fireworks explode over Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong, China (Getty)

Additional reporting by AP

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