Revellers in Australia and New Zealand were among the first to welcome 2016. Fireworks lit up Sydney harbour in Australia. Russia – the first major European city to welcome 2016 – held a fireworks display over Red Square in Moscow.
In New York, a million people converged on Times Square to watch the famous ball descend.
In Brazil, crowds packed Rio de Janeiro’s famous Copacabana beach to watch a spectacular firework display.
European cities ushered in 2016 – despite heightened security measures in some countries.
In Japan, people released balloons by Tokyo Tower, while South Koreans celebrated with traditional bell-ringing. At Auckland’s Sky Tower in New Zealand, with a laser show and fireworks display.
In London, more than 100,000 people watched the fireworks display by the River Thames.
In the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, the traditional Hogmanay party received a New Year message from British astronaut Tim Peake who was broadcasting live from the International Space Station.
In Berlin, fireworks were held at the Brandenburg Gate, with one million people estimated to have attended the countdown. In Paris, the traditional fireworks display was cancelled to be
replaced by a five-minute video performance at the Arc de Triomphe just before midnight. The city’s mayor, Anne Hidalgo, said the video was intended to send “the world the message that Paris is standing, proud of its lifestyle and living together”. Earlier, President Francois Hollande in a New Year’s Eve address to the nation said that his country had “not finished with terrorism yet”, six weeks after gunmen and suicide bombers killed 130 people in Paris. Four divers equipped with musical instruments and breathing apparatus performed an underwater “concert” in a fish tank in Yantai, east China.
In Dubai, a fireworks display was held near the Burj Khalifa skyscraper. Egypt celebrated with fireworks in front of the pyramids near Cairo. Over in Sierra Leone, the declared end of Ebola was marked by a return to New Year festivities, after Freetown, the capital, was left deserted a year ago due to the disease’s outbreak.