New year celebrations around the world – live
Follow the new year celebrations through this article from around the world, Tokyo, London, New York and many more cities.
Sadiq Khan has called for resilience ahead of London’s New year fireworks show, saying the capital is “as safe as it possibly can be”. Khan said the mood on the streets was upbeat, adding that it was “really important we don’t allow terrorists to disrupt our celebrations on this New Year’s Eve”.
“We’ve done everything we possibly can do to keep us safe,” he said. “We’ve got more armed police officers on duty tonight than we have on any previous year, we’ve got more visible police officers working tonight than on any previous year. We’ve got to make sure the resilience that London is famous for is demonstrated tonight.”
A huge police presence has been deployed to the streets as spectators from around the world gather to watch fireworks light up the Thames as Big Ben strikes midnight.
This is Alexandra Rogers taking over the new year live blog from Marc Walker to keep you updated on celebrations across the world as they happen.
Updated at 7.30pm GMT
Crowds gathered to watch fireworks light up the night sky behind Myanmar’s landmark Shwedagon pagoda during the New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Updated at 7.32pm GMT
In Berlin, revellers are preparing to welcome in 2017 at a show at the Brandenburg Gate.
Updated at 7.17pm GMT
Indonesia welcomes in the new year with a fireworks display at the Selamat Datang monument in Jakarta.
Updated at 7.07pm GMT
An elderly lady waits for customers to snap up her New Year’s Eve party hats and masks in Yangon, Myanmar. A process of reform has been under way in the country, also known as Burma, since November 2010, when military rule was replaced by a new army-backed civilian government
Updated at 6.12pm GMT
Celebrations are in full swing in Taipei, Taiwan, where the tourist board estimates more than 1m people have travelled to the city to marvel at the spectacle of thousands of fireworks exploding from the famous 101 skyscraper
Updated at 6.13pm GMT
On New Year’s Eve last year, about 100 women in Cologne’s central square and other German cities were sexually assaulted. A year on and Cologne police have deployed 1,500 officers – 10 times the number of officers compared to last year. Extra security guards are also on duty to ensure the area is safe for New Year’s Eve party-goers
Updated at 5.46pm GMT
Paramedics struggling to cope with level of emergency calls hours before midnight
The Press Association is reporting that paramedics are dealing with a high level of emergency calls on New Year’s Eve:
Paramedics were struggling to reach patients in parts of the south-east on New Year’s Eve amid a high level of 999 calls.
South East Coast ambulance service NHS foundation trust (Secamb) said 999 callers in Kent in particular were being hit by delays in crews reaching them due to the high demand.
Managers said they were focusing on responding to life-threatening 999 calls as they urged people to think carefully about whether they really needed an ambulance.
Secamb’s on-call gold incident commander Richard Webber said: “We are already receiving a high volume of emergency 999 calls, especially across Kent and are struggling to reach many of these in a timely manner. Our staff are already working extremely hard but this does mean that for certain emergencies, some patients can expect to wait longer for an ambulance as we focus our efforts on responding to calls which are deemed life-threatening.”
During the festive period, Secamb saw a 10% rise in demand compared to last year. From 7pm on Christmas Eve to 11pm on Boxing Day it responded to 4,840 emergency calls.
Last year, between 10pm on New Year’s Eve and 4am on 1 January, the trust handled 1,135 calls – an average of more than three 999 calls a minute – and this year is expected to be even higher.
Webber urged people to only dial 999 in a “serious emergency” and asked them to consider other options, including the NHS 111 service.
Partly in response to high call levels, it emerged this week that Secamb’s specialist critical care paramedics are being brought into the overall cover plan system to make them available to respond to all types of call.
The change, revealed in a leaked memo, provoked criticism among CCPs who fear lives could be endangered by them being tied up with non-urgent calls instead of dealing with life-threatening emergencies as they have done previously.
Secamb managers have defended the move, saying that with high demand and poor response times it could not continue the current model of not sending CCPs to certain categories of patient.
The change will run until the end of March 2017 when it will be reviewed.
Secamb, which covers Kent, Surrey, Sussex and north-east Hampshire, was put into special measures in September after the Care Quality Commission ranked it inadequate. The change is part of its recovery plan.
Updated at 5.37pm GMT
Fears that selfie sticks would become passé in 2017 appear totally unfounded as new year partygoers in Hong Kong capture the turn of the year.
Updated at 5.05pm GMT
Swedes see in 1 January with a nyårstårta, or new year’s cake. Here’s a trifle cake inspired by Pokémon Go. One of many being baked up and down the country this evening. Looks good …
Updated at 4.58pm GMT
Having completed the important diplomatic work of saluting his “many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do”, President-elect Donald Trump will see in the New Year with 800 guests at an “elegant and sophisticated” party at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
Rather in the vein of a planned inauguration in which big names and smaller names – such as those of individual Rockettes and members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir – have declined to perform, in the last case preferring not to be seen to endorse “tyranny and fascism”, the calibre of celebrities on the guest list seems uncertain at best.
As of Saturday morning, ageing Hollywood action star Sylvester Stallone, who reportedly turned down Trump’s offer of a job with the National Endowment for the Arts, was still due to attend. The legendary music producer Quincy Jones, however, was not.
In a call with reporters on Friday, incoming White House spokesman Sean Spicer mentioned the two stars as guests. Later, a spokesman for Jones – a Clinton donor – said he did not know how Spicer got that idea, as Jones would be seeing in 2017 with his family in Los Angeles.
Ongoing concerns about potential conflicts of interest between President Trump and Businessman Trump have also infringed on the party. Politico reported on Friday that Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks rejected suggestions that the sale of tickets, at between $525 and $575 a head, constituted the sale of access to the president-elect and his family.
“The transition is not concerned about the appearance of a conflict,” Hicks said, on the same call as Spicer. “This is an annual celebratory event at the private club, like others that have continued to occur since the election. “Additionally, the president cannot and does not have a conflict.”
Some beg to differ.
Koreans celebrate their day of birth but also mark growing a year older from 1 January.
Updated at 4.44pm GMT
Feliz Año Nuevo (Happy New Year!) from Hong Kong:
Updated at 4.44pm GMT
I am handing over to my colleague Marc Walker, who will be continuing this live blog. I would like to thank all those who have sent in their photographs and tweets, and for everyone who has commented under this article.
I’ll sign off with one of my favourite pictures of the celebrations so far. Happy New Year, everyone.
Updated at 4.21pm GMT
Beckie in Japan has just tweeted me with these lovely shots.
Photo editor fail of the day goes to the Daily Express who have confused the real city of Paris for the Paris Las Vegas hotel in their article about security measures in France for tonight’s celebrations. Oops.
It will be midnight in Hong Kong shortly.
Strictly Come Dancing pro, Neil Jones, is there and will be enjoying the fireworks from a rooftop.
A reader, Ian, is also in Hong Kong waiting for the fireworks.
Meanwhile in Beijing …
Updated at 4.07pm GMT
What’s the best way to celebrate NYE?
With pie and Prosecco. D’oh!
Queen may miss New Year’s Day church service
It sounds like the Queen may have to spend at least one more day in bed as she is still recovering from her heavy cold.
The monarch has not been seen in public for 11 days since she and Prince Philip sustained heavy colds, forcing them to cancel the traditional train journey to their north Norfolk estate for Christmas.
Earlier this week, Buckingham Palace was forced to issue a statement confirming the Queen was still alive after a tweet from a fake BBC News account claimed she had died.
Updated at 4.08pm GMT
Lots of people in Asia are now tweeting pictures from their New Year’s Eve celebrations. Bali looks a bit good!
A bit of fun for the dying hours of 2016: Trevor Noah of The Daily Show bid farewell to the year many will care to forget.
Updated at 4.08pm GMT
It’s already 2017 in parts of Russia.
Updated at 4.08pm GMT
In South Korea, protesters have set off their own fireworks during a candle-lit vigil calling for the impeached president, Park Geun-hye, to step down, near the presidential house in Seoul.
Updated at 4.29pm GMT
A Sri Lankan woman lights oil lamps as other devotees carry various offerings at a Buddhist temple on New Year’s Eve in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Updated at 3.12pm GMT
Lots of people in Switzerland wave goodbye to the old year by swimming in a very chilly lake. Whatever floats your boat!
Updated at 3.15pm GMT
In Japan, New Year’s Eve is traditionally a day spent with family and although there will be fireworks over Tokyo’s Disneyland castle, the bars will remain fairly quiet.
Elliot Morris decided to do something a bit different while holidaying in the capital city and went to watch a New Year’s Eve boxing match at Ota City Gym. He said: “It was fantastic and very fun. We are now just in a quiet bar.”
Updated at 4.31pm GMT
My colleague Emma Beddington has written a guide to surviving New Year’s Eve with children. Does this ring any bells?
Traditionally a grave disappointment, New Year’s Eve is at least a time to cut loose and escape the suffocating, sprout-scented stranglehold of the family Christmas. But with kids, you can forget about that. You’re far too late (and broke) for babysitters. Everyone is bored, bloated, probably sick, definitely fighting and stuck with one another. How can you reach midnight without tears?
Updated at 2.24pm GMT
Worshippers of Yemanjá ask for blessings from their deity at Copacabana – before one of the world’s largest New Year’s Eve beach parties kicks off.
Updated at 3.16pm GMT
Brisbane just welcomed in 2017. It looks nice and tropical there, a bit different to the cold and foggy weather on this side of the world.
Security measures will form ‘protective ring’ in London
When 2017 reaches the UK capital, thousands of police officers will provide a protective ring around the city’s set-piece fireworks display, with security tactics having been adjusted after this year’s terrorist atrocities in Europe.
Armed police will also be a fixture on the capital’s tube trains as they travel between jobs – a move aimed at reassuring passengers.
Fears of a mass-casualty terrorist plot targeting one of the country’s new year events have been heightened after lorries were used in devastating attacks on crowded areas in Nice and Berlin.
British Transport Police (BTP) said they would be extending officers’ working hours on the night for a second year running.
The BTP superintendent Andy Morgan said: “We developed and improved our security plan for last year’s New Year’s Eve event following the atrocities in Paris in the previous November and we, of course, have looked at good security, a thorough security boost following a different type of threat in Nice back in July.
“In general, we have a good eyeline on what could happen, we’ve got very, very good assets both covert and overt deployed out within the footprint and across London, almost joined at the hip with our colleagues from the Metropolitan police to make sure that we’re working together to provide that security blanket across London.”
Updated at 3.18pm GMT
Incidentally, it’s not the first time Donald Trump has thought to mention his enemies while sending good wishes on special holidays or events.
Here’s a thanksgiving tweet from 2012:
This was on the anniversary of 9/11 in 2013:
Here’s his Father’s Day message from the following year:
And one from Memorial Day in 2015:
The New Year enthusiasm is at risk of being dampened here in the UK. The fog in the south has caused delays at Gatwick and Manchester, while in northern England and Wales, rain is set to sweep across areas including Manchester, Leeds and possibly Cardiff at midnight, the Met Office said.
Spectacular fireworks have illuminated Sydney Harbour Bridge to celebrate the arrival of 2017 in Australia, as Britons count the hours until the new year also lands in the UK.
The Pacific island nations of Samoa, Tonga and Kiribati were the first to welcome the new year as the clock hit 10am on New Year’s Eve in London.
The end of 2016 was then marked in the Chatham Islands and parts of New Zealand shortly afterwards, with fireworks launched from the top of Auckland’s Sky Tower, before celebrations began in Sydney at 1pm London time.
Sydney Harbour Bridge was doused in the bright light of an estimated seven tonnes of fireworks during two displays, including an earlier show which saw the landmark bridge glow purple in a tribute to the late US singer Prince.
British singer David Bowie was also honoured with space-themed fireworks as a nod to the late star’s hit Space Oddity.
Updated at 3.20pm GMT
Donald Trump’s new year message
Here’s US President-elect Donald Trump being all nice and positive as he wishes everyone a Happy New Year. Oh, wait …
Updated at 3.20pm GMT
Sydney welcomes 2017 in with lots of loud and colourful fireworks, as per usual.
Updated at 1.20pm GMT
Happy New Year, Australia
Fireworks Sydney style…
Updated at 1.29pm GMT
Happy New Year Sydney!
The fireworks have started and are set to feature tributes to Prince and David Bowie. Send us your snaps!
How are you spending the last day of 2016?
Libby Maguire spent it exploring the Australian coast. “I did the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk to celebrate the last day of the year … I’m now at a house party at the beach with an Aussie band playing some hits.”
In Spain it is traditional for people to eat one grape at every stroke of the midnight clock chimes on New Year’s Eve to bring luck in the following year. Some extra keen people held a warm-up session at midday in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol.
Curious as to how Sydney organises its always impressive fireworks displays? Wonder no more:
Safety and security is high on the agenda for New Year celebrations around the world this year:
I love this photograph of a passenger plane flying in front of a rainbow during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Taipei, Taiwan.
This year’s celebration in the city will use fireworks combined with a light show for the first time, with an estimated cost of TW$45m (£1.1m).
A Guardian reader in Taiwan also sent us this photograph of her family’s New Year’s Eve feast. Laura Pepper Wu said: “We are celebrating our baby’s first NYE with a dim sum dinner here in Taiwan! Happy New Year!”
Updated at 12.26pm GMT
More pretty pictures from down under courtesy of ABC News Australia:
Updated at 12.26pm GMT
New Year’s Eve protest in South Korea
While most people are gathering to ring in the new year, in South Korea people have once again gathered in protest. Even on New Year’s Eve, large crowds of protesters have turned out in Seoul to demand the resignation of the impeached President Park Geun-hye, who is determined to restore her powers through a court trial.
South Korea isn’t the only country to have celebrations dampened by national events. Normally boisterous Bangkok will see in the new year on a more sombre note, with prayers and candles replacing parties as the nation grieves for King Bhumibol Adulyadej who died in October.
With Brazil mired in its worst recession in a century, the fireworks there have been cut to just 12 minutes as the state government fights bankruptcy. However, up to 2 million people are still expected to party on Rio’s Copacabana beach.
Updated at 1.29pm GMT
Terror threat puts cities on higher alert
Security concerns have hit many new year events this year, with many cities opting to set up truck blockades as a new tactic to try to prevent vehicles ploughing into crowds, as happened in Berlin and Nice this year.
While Sydney is using garbage trucks as safety barriers, the German capital has beefed up security after the 19 December attack, deploying hundreds more police, some armed with machine-guns.
“This year, what’s new is that we will place concrete blocks and position heavy armoured vehicles at the entrances” to the zone around Brandenburg Gate, a police spokesman said.
In Cologne, aftersexual attacks during New Year’s Eve events last year, 1,800 police will be deployed, compared with just 140 in 2015. In neighbouring Austria, police will hand out 6,000 free pocket alarms to help prevent assaults on women.
In Paris, there will be a full fireworks display again, after 2015 celebrations were muted following the massacre of 130 people on 13 November of that year. Nearly 100,000 police, gendarmes and soldiers will be deployed across France against the terrorist threat.
With more than a million people expected to turn up to watch the ball drop in Times Square, New York is deploying 165 “blocker” trucks and about 7,000 police.
Rome has organised armoured vehicles and a greater numbers of security forces around the Coliseum and at St Peter’s Square where Pope Francis will celebrate midnight mass.
In Moscow, police will deploy more than 5,000 officers, backed by thousands more from the new national guard and volunteer militia, to maintain order. Thousands traditionally gather in Red Square, but for the second year in a row, the area will be open solely to 6,000 invitees.
In London, 3,000 officers will be on patrol among crowds lining the banks of the river Thames to watch the fireworks over the London Eye.
Updated at 1.28pm GMT
In case you’re confused, Sydney has two sets of fireworks – one at 9pm (for families who don’t want to be out too late), and the other at midnight proper, which falls at 1pm GMT.
Here’s a time lapse of the 9pm fireworks, boiled down to a mere 16 seconds by Mike Bowers, Guardian Australia’s photographer-at-large:
Updated at 12.00pm GMT
Does anyone else think the Sky Tower in Auckland looks like a bit like a pineapple in this stunning shot?
Updated at 11.55am GMT
One more second of 2016 to endure
Many of us can’t wait for 2016 to be over, but did you know that we are going to have to endure an entire extra second of it?
The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is to introduce a “leap second” after 23.59:59 on 31 December.
As a result, clocks striking 00:00:00 will actually be recording a time of 23:59:60 – delaying midnight by a second.
It will be the 27th time the NPL has brought in a leap second to ensure that time based on the Earth’s rotation does not lag behind time kept by atomic clocks.
Read more about that here:
Updated at 1.27pm GMT
Shame about the lack of capital letters in this tweet from the City of Sydney, but it’s more about the picture of course …
Updated at 11.55am GMT
The celebrations in Sydney have already kicked off with a children’s fireworks display. Tell us how you are celebrating in your part of the world.
Updated at 11.56am GMT
New Year’s Eve security tightened
A hop and skip over the Tasman Sea and Australia is gearing up for its famous new year celebrations in Sydney and will be defying the increased terror threat.
About 1.5 million people are packing Australia’s biggest city to watch the midnight fireworks, a larger-than-usual crowd due to the weekend timing and warm weather, as the New South Wales state premier urged “business as usual”.
“My encouragement to everyone is to enjoy New Year’s Eve … in the knowledge that police are doing everything they can to keep us safe,” Mike Baird said.
The year of 2016 has seen repeated bloodshed around the world, most recently a deadly truck attack at a Berlin Christmas market, as well as a similar incident on Bastille Day in France that killed 86, as well as atrocities in Turkey and the Middle East, and the war in Syria.
About 2,000 extra officers have been deployed in Sydney after a man was arrested for allegedly making threats online about the celebrations.
There were a number of other reported threats this holiday period, in the Asia-Pacific region and elsewhere. In Melbourne, police said they foiled a “significant” Islamic State-inspired Christmas Day terrorism plot.
Indonesia said it had foiled plans by an Isis-linked group for a Christmas suicide bombing, and 52 died in the Philippines in bomb attacks blamed on Islamist militants.
Israel on Friday issued a warning of imminent “terrorist attacks” on tourists and western targets in India, telling its citizens to avoid public places.
Updated at 1.27pm GMT
Only a couple of minutes to go until midnight in New Zealand. How are you celebrating? Tweet me @nicola_slawson and let me know.
Not everyone is having a good night in Auckland though, thanks to public transport woes!
Happy New Year’s Eve!
Welcome to our last live blog of the year, probably. Join us as we chart the new year being welcomed in across the globe.
For those desperate to see the back of 2016, the good news is it is already 2017 in Samoa!
Updated at 10.59am GMT
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