New Year’s Eve celebrations LIVE: Celebrations erupt across the world as countries welcome start of 2023

New Year’s Eve celebrations LIVE: Celebrations erupt across the world as countries welcome start of 2023

Thousands of Australians gathered at Sydney’s harbourfront to welcome the New Year after two years of disruptions due to Covid.

After Covid reduced or halted festivities in 2020 and 2021, large crowds gathered in the capital as Sydney became one of the first major cities to celebrate the New Year.

Thousands also welcomed in the New Year in New Zealand while Tonga, Samoa and Kiribati were the first to see in the New year at 10am GMT.

Later, thousands of people will attend Edinburgh‘s traditional Hogmanay celebrations as they return for the first time in three years.

Despite the wet weather across the UK, thousands are expected in London to see the fireworks after the display was cancelld due to Covid restrictions.

Sydney kicks off with a bang

11:25 , Bill Mcloughlin

 (AP)
(AP)
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks 2022: Where to watch for free across the capital

11:34 , Bill Mcloughlin

This New Year’s Eve is a chance to toast to that and to raise a glass to a 2023 that’s brighter still. The London fireworks, as obvious a visual metaphor as perhaps is possible, return this year after being cancelled over the pandemic.

Sadiq Khan said of them: “We are building a better London for everyone and New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest nights of the year for our hospitality industry with our fireworks providing an incredible moment to send a message of love and celebration to the world.”

The evening begins at 8pm on December 31 and is held by the London Eye; tickets were £15 and sold out weeks ago and while it’s impossible to attend without a ticket, there are plenty of other spots to watch the display from.

Here’s everything to know.

Fireworks explode over Sky Tower in central Auckland

12:02 , Bill Mcloughlin

 (AP)
(AP)

Seoul prepares to ring in the New Year

13:20 , Bill Mcloughlin

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Xi Jinping says China entering ‘new phase’ of Covid pandemic in New Year address

14:10 , Bill Mcloughlin

China "stands on the right side of history", Xi Jinping said in a New Year's address despite questions over his government's handling of Covid-19 and economic and political challenges at home and abroad.

Speaking on national television, Xi largely avoided directly addressing issues confronting the country, pointing instead to successes in agricultural production, poverty elimination and its hosting of the Winter Olympics in February.

However, he later turned to the challenges facing the world's most populous country and second-largest economy, saying: "The world is not at peace."

China will "always steadfastly advocate for peace and development and unswervingly stands on the right side of history", he said.

Recent weeks have seen street protests against Mr Xi's government, the first facing the ruling Communist Party for more than three decades.

Watch: New Zealand’s spectacular firework display

15:21 , Bill Mcloughlin

Revellers in Tokyo welcome the start of 2023

16:14 , Bill Mcloughlin

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)
 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Fireworks over Taiwan

16:29 , Bill Mcloughlin

Hong Kong rings in the New Year

17:16 , Bill Mcloughlin

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Spectacular fireworks in Thailand

17:34 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Fireworks explode over the Chao Phraya River as Bangkok rings in the new year (REUTERS)
Fireworks explode over the Chao Phraya River as Bangkok rings in the new year (REUTERS)
Bottles of wine are pictured in the back of a tuk tuk during New Year celebrations in Bangkok (AFP via Getty Images)
Bottles of wine are pictured in the back of a tuk tuk during New Year celebrations in Bangkok (AFP via Getty Images)
Fireworks explode over the Chao Phraya River during the New Year celebrations, in Bangkok, Thailand (REUTERS)
Fireworks explode over the Chao Phraya River during the New Year celebrations, in Bangkok, Thailand (REUTERS)

Crowds begin to gather by the Thames for London’s fireworks display

18:32 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

With around six hours to go before London’s main fireworks display kicks off at midnight, crowds have begun to gather.

Tonight will mark the first time the capital’s world-famous New Year’s Eve celebrations have returned to the banks of the River Thames since before the pandemic broke out.

People gather on the Embankment opposite the London Eye in central London (PA)
People gather on the Embankment opposite the London Eye in central London (PA)

More than 100,000 people are due to gather near the London Eye to welcome in the new year and witness the display.

Many of those queuing around 6pm were seen clutching umbrellas, as it shapes up to be a drizzly night in London.

 (PA)
(PA)

A new year begins in India

18:45 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

India saw in the new year at 6.30pm GMT. Happy new year, India!

A person lights candle on a sand sculpture to welcome the New Year at the Sangam area, the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati, in Prayagraj (AFP via Getty Images)
A person lights candle on a sand sculpture to welcome the New Year at the Sangam area, the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati, in Prayagraj (AFP via Getty Images)

Boris Johnson: ‘Things will get better’ in 2023

18:49 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Former British prime minister Boris Johnson has said he is confident “things will get better” in the year ahead after a “pretty tumultuous” 2022.

In a brief new year greeting posted on Twitter, the former prime minister made no mention of his ejection from Downing Street earlier this year – swiftly followed by his successor Liz Truss – or the cost-of-living crisis.

Instead he delivered a boosterish message on his predictions for the coming year.

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He said he was “more convinced than ever” that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin will be defeated in Ukraine while there were signs that inflation around the world was coming down.

“2022 is tip-toeing towards the exit after a pretty tumultuous year in which we lost our beloved Queen and saw the start of the worst war in Europe for 80 years,” he said.

“I want to tell you why I am looking forward to 2023 and why I am confident that things will get better.

“Our post-Covid, post-pandemic UK will finally start to take advantage of all our new freedoms, lengthening our lead as the best place on earth to invest, to start a business, raise a family or to just hang out in the pub which is what I propose to do this New Year’s Eve.”

Macron pledges to stand by Ukraine in NYE speech

19:33 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

France will stand by Ukraine until its victory, French President Emmanuel Macron said in a New Year‘s Eve speech.

“In the year that is starting, we will stand by you without fail,” he said.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Crowds gather to celebrate new year in Dublin

19:42 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Crowds have gathered for a New Year’s Eve Festival outside the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland.

Irish singer-songwriter Gavin James is among those who have performed so far at this evening’s event, which is set to be headlined by Westlife.

 (PA)
(PA)
 (PA)
(PA)
 (PA)
(PA)
 (PA)
(PA)

Spectacular fireworks light up Burj Khalifa as UAE sees in 2023

20:31 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Fireworks have exploded from the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, during New Year's Eve celebrations in Dubai.

The UAE city, which is four hours ahead of the UK, saw in 2023 at 8pm GMT.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)
 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)
People gathered outside the Burj Khalifa as they waited for the fireworks (REUTERS)
People gathered outside the Burj Khalifa as they waited for the fireworks (REUTERS)

Crowds gather in rain for Hogmanay celebrations in Edinburgh

20:50 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Thousands of people are gathering to attend Edinburgh’s traditional Hogmanay celebrations as they return for the first time in three years.

 (PA)
(PA)

The event was cancelled as a result of Covid-19 restrictions for the last two years.

Fireworks will lift off every hour between 9pm and 11pm, counting down to the traditional midnight display.

 (PA)
(PA)
 (PA)
(PA)

Muted celebrations in Red Square as Moscow sees in the new year

21:27 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

People in the centre of Moscow have celebrated a somewhat muted New Year‘s Eve without the usual fireworks and festivities on Red Square, with many saying they wanted peace in 2023.

Authorities closed off the famous cobbled square in the heart of Moscow, citing restrictions to fight Covid-19, and increased the number of police in nearby side streets.

New Year‘s Day is Russia’s main seasonal holiday, while Orthodox believers also celebrate Christmas on January 7.

People attend the New Year's Eve celebrations in central Moscow, Russia (REUTERS)
People attend the New Year's Eve celebrations in central Moscow, Russia (REUTERS)
Russian law enforcement officers stand guard near Red Square, closed during New Year's Eve celebrations, in Moscow, Russia December 31, 2022 (REUTERS)
Russian law enforcement officers stand guard near Red Square, closed during New Year's Eve celebrations, in Moscow, Russia December 31, 2022 (REUTERS)

“We hope that there will be a predictable year, we hope there will be world peace, as strange as it may sound in such a situation,” said Moscow resident Alexander Tsvetov.

“We hope that people will be happy, on each side of this conflict, and there will be peace,” he continued, in a reference to what President Vladimir Putin calls the 10-month “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Deprived of the chance to gather on Red Square and watch a traditional New Year‘s Eve firework display, people walked along the wet streets, looking at Christmas markets, brightly lit storefront displays and trees set up with baubles.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

London Eye illuminated ahead of New Year’s Eve celebrations

21:38 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

The London Eye is seen illuminated ahead of the New Year's Eve celebrations, in central London (REUTERS)
The London Eye is seen illuminated ahead of the New Year's Eve celebrations, in central London (REUTERS)

Huge crowds gather in Paris

21:49 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Massive crowds have gathered on the Champs Elysees avenue near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, ahead of New Year’s Eve celebrations.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

22:36 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks