Countries around the world welcome 2016

By Updated at 2016-01-01 08:20:48 +0000

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Starting off and ending back in the Pacific, nations around the world are welcoming in 2016.

SAN FRANCISCO (Global-Gathering) - Despite the chill, hundreds of thousands of people came out to watch the fireworks which were set off from double barges on the San Francisco Bay.

In New York, more than a million people converged on Times Square, amid tight security, to watch the famous ball descend. Hours before official festivities began at 6 pm, people from all over the world began to assemble in the famed Manhattan crossroads for an annual rite of winter that dates back to 1904.

With memories of the deadly attack in Paris still fresh, police took extraordinary measures to ensure security at an event that has come to define the New York experience for many visitors to the largest U.S. city.

New York

In Brazil, crowds packed Rio's de Janeiro's famous Copacabana beach to watch a spectacular firework display.


Hundreds of thousands of people have gathered at Berlin's annual New Year's Eve party at the landmark Brandenburg Gate. Authorities spent the day searching the nearby Tiergarten park and fencing off the entire area. Big backpacks, bags, fireworks and sharp objects are banned from the party zone around the gate.


Fireworks have been cancelled at this year's celebrations in Paris as the threat of further militant attacks in France remains at its highest level. Instead, a five minute video display will be projected onto the Arc de Triomphe just before midnight and will be relayed on screens along the Champs Elysée. More than 100,000 police have been deployed throughout France to guard this evenings celebrations that come six weeks after the jihadist attacks in Paris.


In London, more than 100,000 people watched the fireworks display by the River Thames with thousands of extra police officers on duty.


Revellers in Australia and New Zealand were among the first to welcome 2016.
Crowds counted down at Auckland's Sky Tower in New Zealand, with a laser show and fireworks display. Fireworks also lit up Sydney harbour in Australia.

Revelers wait in large pens for midnight during New Year's Eve festivities in the Times Square area of New York December 31, 2015.

Kuala Lampur

Pope Francis, presiding over an end of year mass in St. Peter's Basilica, has used the New Year's Eve church service to encourage humanity to hang on to recollections of good deeds, so that gestures of goodness can be seen triumphing over evil.

Despite the clock striking midnight in Iran, many Iranians will not celebrate January 1 as New Year's Day. Instead, their celebration will begin on March 20 in line with the Persian New Year which is determined by the Northern Hemisphere's vernal equinox.

Fireworks explode around the London Eye wheel, the Big Ben clock tower and the Houses of Parliament to mark the beginning of the New Year in London, Britain, January 1, 2016.

Revellers gather near the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs Elysees Avenue in Paris, France, during New Year celebrations, early January 1, 2016.

Grozny, Tschetschenien

Dubai's Civil Defense says the scheduled New Year's Eve fireworks display near the burning luxury hotel will go ahead as planned.

This is happening very close to tonight's fireworks display. Fire engulfs The Address Hotel in downtown Dubai in the United Arab Emirates December 31, 2015.