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It's already a Happy New Year somewhere! Midnight strikes across the globe as millions hail start of 2014 with dazzling celebrations

Happy New Year

  • Revellers in New Zealand have already hailed the start of 2014, dancing in the streets of Auckland and Queenstown
  • Dubai is planning the world's biggest ever fireworks show with Guinness World Record judges on hand
  • More than one million people pack Sydney harbour to watch the spectacular fireworks display burst into the sky
  • Bright rockets flew from the four sails of the city's iconic Opera House for the first time in more than a decade
  • More than 260 people injured as firecrackers are set off in the Philippines during the countdown to midnight

The biggest party in the world is underway with bright fireworks bursting into skies across the globe as midnight strikes and nations hail the start of 2014.

Exploding fireworks sprayed from Sydney's iconic opera house and harbor bridge as the world began ushering in a new year. 

More than one million people crammed the Sydney Harbor foreshore on a warm summer night to watch Sydney's renowned annual pyrotechnics show, which appeared to live up to its billing as the city's most extravagant. 

And for the first time in more than a decade fireworks launched from four sails of the Sydney Opera House. 

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Ringing in 2014! Fireworks explode near Malaysia's landmark, Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Ringing in 2014! Fireworks explode near Malaysia's landmark, Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

While many were happy to welcome the new year, thousands of Malaysian people marched on the street to protest against price hikes by the Malaysian government

While many were happy to welcome the new year, thousands of Malaysian people marched on the street to protest against price hikes by the Malaysian government

Soaring into the air: The fireworks near Malaysia's iconic Petronas Towers heralded a new start and a new year for many

Soaring into the air: The fireworks near Malaysia's iconic Petronas Towers heralded a new start and a new year for many

In Hong Kong the harbour provided the focal point much like Sydney harbour three hours earlier.

A bright spray of fireworks erupted from the water at the same time as rockets burst above the city creating a stunning spectacle of red and white light.

Closer to the edge of the International Dateline, New Zealand bid farewell to 2013 two hours before Sydney with fireworks erupting from Auckland's Sky Tower as cheering revelers danced in the streets of the South Pacific island nation's largest city. 

In Tokyo, five priests at the Zojoji temple used ropes to swing a wooden pole against a large bell, sounding the first of 108 gongs to mark the new year. Simultaneously, '2014' lit up in white lights on the modern Tokyo Tower in the background. 

An anti-Thai government protester waves national flag as dancers perform on stage during a New Year's Eve rally at the Democracy Monument in Bangkok, Thailand

An anti-Thai government protester waves national flag as dancers perform on stage during a New Year's Eve rally at the Democracy Monument in Bangkok, Thailand

With fireworks erupting from the water and bursting high in the skies, Hong Kong's harbour was showered in sprays of red and white as midnight struck

With fireworks erupting from the water and bursting high in the skies, Hong Kong's harbour was showered in sprays of red and white as midnight struck

The bright lights of the city's skyline merged with the colourful spray of fire across the harbour The bright lights of the city's skyline merged with the colourful spray of fire across the harbour

Both Japanese and tourists jammed the temple grounds for the traditional ceremony. Suburban resident Juji Muto said he was curious to hear how the bell sounded. At his age, the 75-year-old retiree said he wishes as every year for good health in the new year. 

China planned light shows at part of the Great Wall near Beijing and at the Bund waterfront in Shanghai. The city of Wuhan in central Hubei province called off its fireworks show and banned fireworks downtown to avoid worsening its smoggy air. 

In Beijing, one flower shop manager said he hoped the new year brought more customers. 

'Since the government started its campaign to crack down on luxury spending and promote frugality, our business with government agencies has been in decline,' said Mao Xiangfei. 'In the past, government clients accounted for about 10 percent of our business, but now it's zero.'

In the Philippines, more than 260 people were injured by firecracker blasts and celebratory gunfire ahead of New Year's Eve celebrations, one of Asia's most violent revelries.

Three hours after midnight struck in Sydney, Hong Kong celebrated the start of 2014 with its very own fireworks display Three hours after midnight struck in Sydney, Hong Kong celebrated the start of 2014 with its very own fireworks display

Thousands release balloons into the sky as the Tokyo is illuminated during the countdown to midnight in Japan's capital

Thousands release balloons into the sky as the Tokyo is illuminated during the countdown to midnight in Japan's capital

Tokyo tower in the countdown to midnight
Tokyo tower as midnight strikes

Tokyo tower in Japan in the countdown to midnight, left. And right, as 12am strikes and the crowds celebrate the start of the Year of the Horse

Midnight strikes in South Korea as thousands celebrating with the 'moon house' burning and fireworks during the 21st Sungsan sunrise festival of New Year in Sungsan, on Jeju island Midnight strikes in South Korea as thousands celebrating with the 'moon house' burning and fireworks during the 21st Sungsan sunrise festival of New Year in Sungsan, on Jeju island

South Koreans gaze up at the bright display above their heads as they hail the start of 2014 on Jeju island South Koreans gaze up at the bright display above their heads as they hail the start of 2014 on Jeju island

More than one million people packed the water and shoreline of Sydney's harbour to watch the annual fireworks spectacular

More than one million people packed the water and shoreline of Sydney's harbour to watch the annual fireworks spectacular


Sydney celebrates 2014 with spectacular fireworks


Department of Health spokesman Dr Eric Tayag said he expected the number of injuries to rise sharply when Filipinos ignite powerful firecrackers to end a year marked by tragic disasters, including a typhoon on November 8, that left more than 6,100 dead and nearly 1,800 others missing. 

'Many here are welcoming the new year after losing their mothers, fathers, siblings and children so you can imagine how it feels,' said village chief Maria Rosario Bactol of Anibong community in Tacloban, the city worst hit by Typhoon Haiyan. 

'I tell them to face the reality, to move on and stand up but I know it will never be easy.'

The Opera House is lit up by the stunning fountains of fireworks streaming off the harbour bridge. This year's display is the most extravagant ever, organisers have said

The Opera House is lit up by the stunning fountains of fireworks streaming off the harbour bridge. This year's display is the most extravagant ever, organisers have said

The view over Sydney Harbour from Mrs Macquarie's chair as midnight strikes and the crowds hail the New Year

The view over Sydney Harbour from Mrs Macquarie's chair as midnight strikes and the crowds hail the New Year

Fireworks launched from the four sails of Sydney's iconic Opera House for the first time in more than a decade

Fireworks launched from the four sails of Sydney's iconic Opera House for the first time in more than a decade

Tourists and locals dance to celebrate the New Year in Queenstown, New Zealand

Tourists and locals dance to celebrate the New Year in Queenstown, New Zealand

New Zealand is among the first nations to see in the New Year

New Zealand is among the first nations to see in the New Year

As midnight struck in New Zealand a fireworks display erupted over the city as thousands danced in the streets below As midnight struck in New Zealand a fireworks display erupted over the city as thousands danced in the streets below

Young Chinese students at a middle school in Hanshan county, Anhui province, line up to form 'Happy 2014' to celebrate the New Year

Young Chinese students at a middle school in Hanshan county, Anhui province, line up to form 'Happy 2014' to celebrate the New Year

Sportsmen in Allahabad, India light candles to celebrate New Year's Eve at Madan Mohan Malviya Stadium

Sportsmen in Allahabad, India light candles to celebrate New Year's Eve at Madan Mohan Malviya Stadium

A Buddhist woman attaches her name card on a lantern ahead of the New Year at Chogye Buddhist temple in Seoul, South Korea

A Buddhist woman attaches her name card on a lantern ahead of the New Year at Chogye Buddhist temple in Seoul, South Korea

Gearing up for the New Year, students in China use light pens to welcome 2014

Gearing up for the New Year, students in China use light pens to welcome 2014

Dubai, home to world's tallest tower, is known for its glitz, glamor and over-the-top achievements, and this New Year's Eve the city is planning to break another record by creating the largest fireworks show ever.

Organizers plan to light up the city's coastline with a flying falcon made out of fireworks that moves across a massive man-made palm-shaped island alongside a countdown in fireworks.

Organisers say they will also create a burst of light out of fireworks to imitate a sunrise and dazzle spectators with a United Arab Emirates flag that could also break records for being the largest ever made out of fireworks. 

The six-minute extravaganza will include 500,000 fireworks from 400 firing locations, all synchronized by 100 computers from stations across the city, said Barrett Wissman, co-chairman of IMG Artists that is managing the event. Guinness World Record officials will be on hand to measure the scale of the event. 

Wissman said the display will cover 30 miles (48 kilometers) of seafront. 'It is really mind-blowing, the size of this,' he said.

Chinese residents in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province, China use light pens to draw 2014 to welcome in the New Year

Chinese residents in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province, China use light pens to draw 2014 to welcome in the New Year

Actors dressed as the Russian Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost), right, and his companion Snegurochka (Snow Maiden), left, take part a New Year parade in the Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek Actors dressed as the Russian Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost), right, and his companion Snegurochka (Snow Maiden), left, take part a New Year parade in the Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek

Musicians wearing Christmas costumes take part in the New Year parade in Bishkek. New Year, which was the biggest informal holiday of the year in the former Soviet Union, is also very popular in the predominantly Muslim Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan

Musicians wearing Christmas costumes take part in the New Year parade in Bishkek. New Year, which was the biggest informal holiday of the year in the former Soviet Union, is also very popular in the predominantly Muslim Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan

China was planning to count down to the New Year with light shows at two spectacular and historic locations - part of the Great Wall near Beijing and at the Bund waterfront in Shanghai.

In Beijing, one flower shop manager said he hoped the new year brought more customers. 

'Since the government started its campaign to crack down on luxury spending and promote frugality, our business with government agencies has been in decline,' said Mao Xiangfei. 'In the past, government clients accounted for about 10 percent of our business, but now it's zero.' 

But in one polluted Chinese city, the celebrations were slated to be quieter as authorities in Wuhan in central Hubei province called off their annual New Year fireworks show and banned fireworks downtown to avoid making the smoggy air worse.

Shinto priests walk toward the main hall to hold a shinto ritual in preparation for the New Year at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, Japan. It is expected that around three million people will visit the shrine to pray for their health, happiness and property during the first days of 2014

Shinto priests walk toward the main hall to hold a shinto ritual in preparation for the New Year at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, Japan. It is expected that around three million people will visit the shrine to pray for their health, happiness and property during the first days of 2014

Shinto priests walk under a 'torii' (Japanese gate located at the entrance of a Shinto shrine) after they participated to a shinto ritual in preparation for the New Year at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, Japan

Shinto priests walk under a 'torii' (Japanese gate located at the entrance of a Shinto shrine) after they participated to a shinto ritual in preparation for the New Year at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, Japan

In Japan, thousands of visitors, some donning kimono, prayed, rang a bell and tossed coins as offerings at shrines, wishing for health, wealth and happiness. Temple bells rang the customary 108 times, for the 108 causes of suffering according to Buddhism, and to welcome in the Year of the Horse.

Japanese are hopeful about the economy for the first time in years after some signs of revival under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose easing lending policies and pump-priming measures have been dubbed 'Abenomics.' 

Among those upbeat about what the new year might bring is Junya Sakata, a 23-year-old Tokyo waiter looking forward to taking sommelier classes next year so he can move up in his career. 

'I hope the economy will keep improving, building up to the 2020 Olympics,' he said, which will be held in Tokyo. 'So many things happened this year, but I was able to grow. Maybe next year I will find a girlfriend.'

The 9.30pm New Year's Eve fireworks at Yarra Park beside the Melbourne Cricket Ground

The 9.30pm New Year's Eve fireworks at Yarra Park beside the Melbourne Cricket Ground

Thousands of people gathered on Princes Bridge in Melbourne waiting for midnight to strike

Thousands of people gathered on Princes Bridge in Melbourne waiting for midnight to strike

In North Korea, a group of tourists, including Americans, planned to watch fireworks in Kim Il Sung Square and watch the Pyongyang Bell strike midnight, said Andrea Lee, CEO of Uritours, a tour group specializing in travel to North Korea. 

'There were a lot of people out on the streets today for an outdoor dance event, and cars filled the streets,' Ms Lee said. 

In Hong Kong, tens of thousands will turn out to watch the fireworks display over the southern Chinese city's famed Victoria Harbor. 

Pyrotechnics will be fired off near the Kowloon peninsula and from the tops of seven skyscrapers on Hong Kong Island. A British colonial-era canon will be fired at midnight in a tradition dating from the end of World War II. 

In Indonesia, New Year's celebrations are widespread except in the city of Banda Aceh where Islamic clerics prohibit Muslims from celebrating New Year's Eve. 

In the capital, Jakarta, Governor Joko Widodo will lead a festival featuring concerts, parades, a marching band and fireworks. 

Meanwhile in London Ian Guy and Alice Summerill from Bristol arrive early to get a prime spot to watch the Southbank fireworks show illuminate the capital as midnight strikes in the UK

Meanwhile in London Ian Guy and Alice Summerill from Bristol arrive early to get a prime spot to watch the Southbank fireworks show illuminate the capital as midnight strikes in the UK

Dozens of Portaloos are moved into position close to Parliament as hundreds of thousands of people are expected to flock to London today

Dozens of Portaloos are moved into position close to Parliament as hundreds of thousands of people are expected to flock to London today

Barriers have been erected around the fountains in Trafalgar Square to try and stop revellers jumping in the water amid the excitement as the clock strikes 12am

Barriers have been erected around the fountains in Trafalgar Square to try and stop revellers jumping in the water amid the excitement as the clock strikes 12am

 

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Comment by Baku on December 31, 2013 at 8:11pm

You got a reason to unzip my fly 1Stroke you lil bytch! I hope to Ream you up yo stinkin booty in 2014

Comment by Big Woman on December 31, 2013 at 3:05pm
Peace, blessings and good health to all the Carribean Fever Family! May the good Lord guide us and keep us safe in the New Year!
Comment by Deshawn Thomas on December 31, 2013 at 2:30pm
happy new year 2014
all of my caribbean
fever eye responders
god bless to all of you
today is the day for me
bring the new year 2014
give an real good toast
already cop my bottle bub
Comment by mr1stroke on December 31, 2013 at 2:28pm

yes lets take it away people, im sorry if many dont have a reason to celebrate i have so many reason to pop a bottle of hennessy reserve, lord help us all so we can stay in lane

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