As the year 2023 came to an end, countries and cities around the world rang in 2024 with spectacular celebrations filled with fireworks, light shows, concerts, and festivities. Wanna know how the world welcomes 2024?
From the Pacific islands like Samoa and Kiribati, which were the first to welcome the new year, to iconic locations like the Sydney Opera House, Times Square in New York, and the Champs-Élysées in Paris, the beginning of 2024 was marked in style across the globe. Even amidst the conflicts and challenges facing many places, New Year’s celebrations still took place to bring hope for a happier year ahead.
Here’s a glimpse of how the beginning of 2024 has been celebrated around the globe.
How the World Welcomes 2024: USA
- The Times Square Ball Drop is an incredibly iconic and widely celebrated event in the United States. Each year, approximately 1 million individuals come together in midtown Manhattan to witness the breathtaking descent of a massive crystal ball from a flagpole at the stroke of midnight. Major networks like ABC, CNN, and CBS are also streaming the event live.
- The police are using drones to observe the crowd in Times Square and spot any potential threats or emergencies. The drones are equipped with cutting-edge technology, including advanced real-time monitoring and the ability to detect anomalies.
- Numerous cities throughout the nation host breathtaking fireworks shows to celebrate the beginning of the new year, including Seattle, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. Some of these shows are also broadcast or made available for online streaming for viewers at home.
- Many Americans ring in the new year with lively music, joyful dancing, delicious food, and cherished customs. These include singing “Auld Lang Syne,” making New Year’s resolutions, sharing a midnight kiss, savoring black-eyed peas, and enjoying the spectacle of the Rose Parade. Traditions can differ depending on the region, culture, and personal preference.
Pacific islands, including Samoa and Kiribati Island
Kiribati, a nation located in the Pacific, had the privilege of being the first country to welcome the new year.
Kiritimati, the largest island in the country, also known as Christmas Island, welcomed the year 2024 at 10 a.m. UK time.
Samoa and Tonga closely followed it.
Auckland celebrated the start of the new year by putting on a spectacular fireworks show above its tallest building, the Sky Tower.
In the cloudy night sky, fireworks exploded, illuminating the tip of the 1,076-foot (328-meter) communications and observation tower with various colors.
There was a laser light and animation show that accompanied them.
Sydney welcomed 2024 with an incredible firework show that included silver and gold pyrotechnics. The display was a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Sydney’s iconic Opera House.
The show lasted for 12 minutes and featured lasers and pyrotechnics that illuminated the sky above the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Over a million people, which is about one in five of the city’s residents, gathered on the shore and in boats to watch.
Countdown to New Year in Berlin
The enormous New Year’s Eve party at the Brandenburg Gate in Germany’s capital, Berlin, was well underway with roughly an hour to go.
In Berlin, where violent clashes broke out during the celebrations the year before and revelers targeted emergency personnel, about 4,500 police officers were on duty.
On Sunday night, roughly 500 people fired fireworks at one another near Alexanderplatz, according to reports.
The police dispersed the crowd around the iconic Neptune Fountain and searched for fireworks, according to an announcement on X, formerly Twitter.
A crowd of about 200 individuals then hurled pyrotechnics at the cops. Several people were detained.
North Korea, South Korea and Japan
A bell-tolling and countdown ceremony happened at Bosingak Pavilion in Seoul.
In Pyongyang, they bid farewell to 2023 by putting on a spectacular fireworks show at Kim II Sung Square.
A lot of people came together at a temple in central Tokyo to witness a traditional bell-ringing ceremony called Joya no Kane.
In Hiroshima, Japan, there were groups of people who celebrated the New Year by participating in a grand torch festival.
A group of young people were seen carrying the torch near the Itsukushima shrine in Hatsukaichi City, while a crowd of tourists watched the spectacle.
Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Singapore and the Philippines
In Hong Kong, they recently had their largest display ever to start off the year 2024. The display lasted for 12 minutes and featured fireworks that were launched from the rooftops of several skyscrapers on the island.
In Beijing, China, a lot of people came together to watch the New Year countdown at Shougang Park.
In 2024, Taiwan celebrated the arrival of the new year with a spectacular display of fireworks and a countdown from the iconic Taipei 101 building.
At the stroke of midnight, the night sky in the Philippine capital of Manila was filled with the beautiful sight of fireworks. They were set against illuminated tower blocks, creating a stunning display.
A group of young people were holding the torch near the Itsukushima shrine in Hatsukaichi City while a crowd of tourists watched.
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How the World Welcomes 2024: Thailand
In Bangkok, Thailand, the New Year celebrations were absolutely stunning. The night sky lit up with a beautiful display of fireworks, creating a vibrant rainbow of colors that filled the air over the Chao Phraya River.
There were celebrations happening in various cities across India, such as New Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru.
Many people from Mumbai, which is known as a financial hub, gathered on a busy promenade to enjoy the beautiful sunset over the Arabian Sea.
There were concerns about the fireworks in New Delhi, especially because the city already has a reputation for having poor air quality. People were worried that the capital would be covered in a toxic haze on the first morning of the new year.
The government of Pakistan decided to ban all New Year’s Eve celebrations as a way to show solidarity with Palestinians, which resulted in subdued festivities in the country.
The caretaker prime minister, Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, has urged Pakistanis to demonstrate their support for the oppressed people of Gaza by embracing simplicity as they enter the year 2024.
In the city of Karachi, people organized a candlelight protest to express their opposition to the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.
United Arab Emirates (UAE), Russia, Ukraine
As the clocks struck midnight in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, fireworks lit up the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.
Abu Dhabi, on the other hand, proudly presented the “biggest fireworks display in the world.” The organizers mentioned that the show went on for a remarkable 40 minutes.
Russia’s military actions in Ukraine cast a shadow over the new year celebrations, resulting in the cancellation of the traditional fireworks and concert on Moscow’s Red Square for the second consecutive year.
Several cities in Russia have made a commitment to redirect funds towards the front lines instead.
Even though the planned celebrations were cancelled, people in Moscow, both locals and visitors, still gathered in the city center to celebrate.
Greece and South Africa
There was an incredible show that happened above the historic Parthenon temple at the Acropolis in Athens.
In the meantime, fireworks were set off in Cape Town, illuminating the iconic Table Mountain below.
Germany, Rome and Paris
In Berlin, lots of people came together to celebrate New Year’s Eve at the Brandenburg Gate. Meanwhile, in Rome, the city sky was lit up with beautiful fireworks.
There were acrobats in Paris who performed near the Arc de Triomphe before the fireworks.
Happy New Year from Paris, France! 🇫🇷pic.twitter.com/RgxpaVVfku
— Travolax (@travolax) January 1, 2024
How the World Welcomes 2024: London
Around the London Eye on the Thames, there was a spectacular display that lasted for nearly 15 minutes. It included approximately 12,000 fireworks, 600 drones, and 430 lights.
The show was just as amazing as the spectacular displays that the city has become famous for.
The mayor’s office referred to it as the “largest fireworks, lights, and drone show ever seen over the River Thames.”
Along with music from well-known artists like the Spice Girls, Beyonce, Louis Armstrong, The Kinks, and Dua Lipa, the event also featured drones that projected images in the sky.
There were also voice recordings from notable individuals such as the King, Dame Helen Mirren, Stephen Fry, Joanna Lumley, and Baroness Floella Benjamin. They read a poem by the late Benjamin Zephaniah.
— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) December 31, 2023
Rio de Janeiro
As always, the famous Copacabana beach in Brazil was filled with crowds of people who gathered to witness a vibrant display. The colorful spectacle was launched from platforms situated in the sea.
A large part of Brazil and many other countries in South America celebrated the New Year at 3 a.m. UK time.
However, countries like Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru are a few hours behind.
The start of 2024 was feted around the world with dazzling displays of pyrotechnics and light, bringing people together with music, dancing and cultural events to commemorate the changing of the year. From Asia to Europe and Africa to the Americas, the skies were illuminated with color to bid farewell to 2023 and welcome the promise of a fresh start in 2024.
Though some celebrations were muted or cancelled due to pandemic restrictions, financial troubles or political tensions, the New Year was still welcomed in cities big and small through centuries-old traditions as well as innovative modern displays. As 2024 began, these celebrations kicked off a year filled with possibilities and aspirations for health, happiness and peace.