Australia’s largest city Sydney will welcome 2018 with a rainbow-themed fireworks spectacular hailing the introduction of same-sex marriage, amid strict security for festivities that kick off celebrations around the world.
More than 1.5 million spectators were packing the city’s foreshore to watch tonnes of pyrotechnics light up the night sky in the first major New Year’s bash. The technicolour display will include a rainbow waterfall of fireworks cascading off the Sydney Harbour Bridge to mark Australia’s legalisation of same-sex marriage following a nationwide postal vote in support of change.
“This is a fabulous way to see out 2017 -- the year that four out of five Sydneysiders said a resounding ‘Yes’ to marriage equality,” said Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore.
Hollywood heart-throb Hugh Jackman will add star power with a 20-second gold-and-silver pyrotechnics set, fulfilling a lifelong dream to design a firework for his home town.
- Around the world -
Celebrations then move across the world to Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and finally the Americas.
Dazzling light shows will bid farewell to 2017.
- Hong Kong: “Shooting stars” will be fired from the rooftops of buildings in a 10-minute musical firework display
- Singapore: Many landmarks are included in the countdown party, with a symphony of light and sound illuminating the waterfront skyline
- Jakarta: Some 500 couples will wed in a mass ceremony sponsored by the government, and festivals and bazaars will be held on main roads and at tourist sites
- Tokyo: People traditionally spend the evening with their families at home, although many young people head downtown for countdown events
- Dubai: The city is replacing its main midnight fireworks with a laser show on the world’s tallest tower, the 828-metre Burj Khalifa, accompanied by music
- Moscow: Major boulevards and squares will be decked out to welcome the new year, with fireworks to light up 36 key sites
- Rio: Millions will gather on Copacabana beach to watch the fireworks, with many wearing white, the traditional colour to usher in the new year