NEWS
31/12/2019 19:02 GMT | Updated 01/01/2020 00:18 GMT

New Year's Celebrations: Huge Firework Displays Across The World Mark Arrival Of 2020

Celebrations come amid Australia wildfires and Hong Kong protests.

The world rang in the new year on Wednesday with spectacular firework displays from Sydney to Tokyo - though celebrations in Australia were overshadowed by deadly wildfires and the festive mood in Hong Kong and India was dampened by protests.

Around a million people were in attendance in Sydney harbour and nearby districts to watch more than 100,000 fireworks explode above the city, even as thousands of people along Australia’s eastern seaboard sought refuge from the bushfires on beaches.

Thousands in Hong Kong who welcomed 2020 on neon-lit promenades in the picturesque Victoria Harbour broke into pro-democracy chants shortly after the countdown to midnight.

Hong Kong authorities canceled the main midnight fireworks display for the first time in a decade, citing security concerns. A “Symphony of Lights” took place instead, involving projections on the city’s tallest skyscrapers, while smaller-scale pyrotechnics were launched from waterfront rooftops.

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Protesters react as police fire tear gas during a demonstration in Hong Kong.
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Firefighters try to protect homes around Charmhaven, New South Wales, as wildfires burn across Australia's two most-populous states.

Elsewhere, revellers from Auckland in New Zealand to Pyongyang, capital of isolated North Korea, welcomed the new year with firework displays. In Japan, people took turns to strike Buddhist temple bells, in accordance with tradition.

London’s annual New Year’s Eve fireworks display will this year look ahead to the city hosting several key games in the Euro 2020 football tournament.

Seven of the competition’s matches are set to be played in the capital, with Wembley Stadium scheduled to host the final and semi-finals. 

Edinburgh is set to welcome tens of thousands of people to celebrate Hogmanay.

More than 3,600 fireworks will be let off from Edinburgh Castle at midnight, with street parties, music and ceilidhs happening in more than a dozen city centre streets. 

Here are pictures from across the world as 2020 begins: 

  • Auckland, New Zealand
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Dave Rowland via Getty Images
  • Steve Thomson via Getty Images
  • Sydney, Australia
    Sydney, Australia
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
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  • Tokyo, Japan
    Tokyo, Japan
    Tomohiro Ohsumi via Getty Images
  • JUNG YEON-JE via Getty Images
  • Seoul, South Korea
    Seoul, South Korea
    JUNG YEON-JE via Getty Images
  • KAZUHIRO NOGI via Getty Images
  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Lim Huey Teng / Reuters
  • Singapore
    Singapore
    Edgar Su / Reuters
  • Suhaimi Abdullah via Getty Images
  • Bangkok, Thailand
    Bangkok, Thailand
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • Soe Zeya Tun / Reuters
  • Ahmedabad, India
    Ahmedabad, India
    Amit Dave / Reuters
  • Amit Dave / Reuters
  • Colombo, Sri Lanka
    Colombo, Sri Lanka
    Dinuka Liyanawatte / Reuters
  • Istanbul, Turkey
    Istanbul, Turkey
    HUSEYIN ALDEMIR / Reuters
  • HUSEYIN ALDEMIR / Reuters
  • Moscow, Russia
    Moscow, Russia
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
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  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • Athens, Greece
    Athens, Greece
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • London, England
    London, England
    Chris J Ratcliffe via Getty Images
  • Chris J Ratcliffe via Getty Images
  • Edinburgh, Scotland
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    ASSOCIATED PRESS