Happy New Year: Japan latest to see in 2017 as fireworks fly in Australia and NZ


Crowds erupted in cheering and applause as the countdown to 2017 came to a crescendo at 3pm GMT in Tokyo, Japan today.

The metropolitan city became the latest to meet 2017 in a day of spectacularly colourful celebrations across the globe.

Fireworks over Tokyo city today were preceded by religious rites at the Meiji Shrine where priests prayed for good luck in 2017.

Europeans looking forward to tonight’s celebrations are also

Tokyo Japan celebrates New Year 2017Reuters/AFP/Getty

PARTY TIME: Tokyo revellers ring in the New Year 2017

Tokyo bubble children celebrateReuters

JOY: Chlidren play as bubbles are released ahead of midnight celebrations in Tokyo for New Year

Japan Tokyo New year 2017Getty/AFP/Reuters

TOKYO: The Japanese capital became the latest to meet 2017 at 3pm GMT after Sydney

Tokyo new years eve JapanReuters

DELIGHT: Revellers in the city centre of Tokyo, Japan as countdown to 2017 is underway

The New Year burst into colour as incredible fireworks leapt over Sydney Opera House at 1pm GMT.

The annual “Family fireworks” in Sydney, attended by around 1.5 million people, drew amazement from excited crowds earlier in the evening.

The display – at around 9pm (local time) – is slightly earlier than midnight to allow parents to take their children to bed.

Australians visiting Scotland for Hogmanay celebrated alongside their countrymen back in Oz, chanting ”Ozzie, ozzie, ozzie, oi, oi, oi” from Edinburgh’s famous Oz Bar at 1pm GMT.

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AUSTRALIA: Thirteen tonnes of fireworks lit up the sky in Sydney’s main New Year’s show

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FIERY BEAUTY: Sydney Opera House illuminated by 9pm fireworks, seen from Mrs Macquarie’s Point

Viewers clambered into around 2000 boats to get the best view of the fireworks from the water.

Amid the display, Sydney Harbour Bridge turned purple in memory of singer Prince.

Shortly after, New Zealand sparked off the start of 2017 with its fabulous fireworks display at Sky Tower – a show that was the culmination of six months’ planning.

Australia light boat new yearGetty / AFP

Sydney was one of the first major global cities to see in 2017 with its light boat display

Sydney New Year fireworks 2017Getty

CELEBRATIONS: Fireworks at the Sydney Harbour Bridge kicked off 2017 in spectacular style

Not all went smoothly, however, as a firefighters rushed to put fire throwing plumes of smoke into the air at Four Seasons hotel in Circular Quay, Sydney.

But fire troubles were quickly put to rest as fire services brought the situation under control.

Other musical greats who have died this year are being honoured, as fireworks shaped like Saturn, stars and the moon honoured David Bowie.

Sydney father daughter new year celebration 2017Getty

FAMILY: Young families flocked to Sydney Harbour Bridge to enjoy early evening fireworks

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PARTY: 2017 amazing fireworks in Sydney

Celebrations of the lives of global music superstars who passed away this year are expected at tonight’s fireworks display at the London Eye on the banks of the Thames, where more than 110,000 spectators are expected to gather in the run-up to midnight.

Ice skating is available at Somerset House for £7.50 in Central London for those looking for something a bit different for New Year’s celebrations.

The annual New Year’s Eve Winter Carnival in Newcastle Upon Tyne will delight families – especially as it’s free – beginning in Northumberland Street.

Midnight fireworks can be seen blasting off from Baltic Square in Newcastle Gateshead, and further delights in Performance Square outside Sage Gateshead.

Spectators should be careful to check local road closures as many town centres will be blocking cars from accessing areas of town between 11.30 and 00.30 to keep crowds safe.

Pacific Islands Kiribati and Samoa were among the first in the world to welcome the start of 2017.

The hour will strike midnight at the following times in GMT:

3pm – Japan, South Korea, Indonesia
4.30pm – India and Sri Lanka
10pm – Greece, Syria, South Africa
11pm – Germany, France, Italy, Tunisia

The last people in the world to greet 2017 will be in American Samoa at 11am GMT on January 1.

new zealand celebration 2017TWITTER

DELIGHTED: New Zealanders overjoyed at 2017 fireworks celebrations

New Zealand Sky Tower fireworks 2017 NYGetty

COLOUR EXPLOSION: A phenomenal 500kg of fireworks were used in New Zealand’s display

Sky Tower green fireworks New Zealand 2017Getty

SKY TOWER: Emerald green fireworks light up Auckland, New Zealand to ring in 2017

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