New Year's Eve celebrations: World welcomes 2018 - 4 years ago
The New Year has officially begun in much of the world, with cities around the globe celebrating the start of 2018 beginning with the Pacific Ocean nations of Samoa, Tonga and Christmas Island/Kiribati. The last places on Earth to see in the New Year are minor outlying US islands like Baker Island and Howland Island - although these are uninhabited. The last inhabited island is American Samoa which will welcome 2018 when it's 11am in London on January 1. Across the pond, New Yorkers have been told to prepare for one of the coldest New Year celebrations on record. Revellers have been urged to bring handwarmers, wrap up warm and avoid alcohol as they flock to Times Square, which is due to hit a frosty 11 Celsius, which would tie for second place with 1962. The coldest ever recorded New Year's Eve at Times Square was in 1917, when it was -17 Celsius at midnight. Drinking alcohol is warned against because it causes body temperature to drop faster. Partygoers have been told to cover all exposed skin. It is finally the UK's turn to welcome in 2018 and London does it in usual style with a massive fireworks display over the Thames in front of the Houses of Parliament. Hundreds of thousands took to the streets to watch dazzling fireworks and join lively celebrations across the UK. Crowds swamped the banks of the River Thames in London for the 12-minute display after Big Ben's bongs rung out across the capital at midnight, having been turned back on for the festive period. More than 100,000 ticket-holders watched London's New Year's Eve fireworks, which featured a soundtrack dominated by women to mark the centenary of women being granted the vote. Songs by Aretha Franklin, Annie Lennox, Ariana Grande, Dua Lipa and Florence Welch were among those included in the women-only second half of the world-famous show. More than 10,000 fireworks lit up the capital's sky during that sold-out event, prompting huge cheers from the lively crowd. Scotland Yard confirmed fewer Metropolitan Police officers were working during this year's celebration, but security at the event appeared tight, with armed police on patrol and security barriers erected. The huge event took place at the end of the year which saw London hit by four terror attacks. Edinburgh's Hogmany is in full swing Torchbearers blazed through the city accompanied by a cast of pipers and drummers with the procession starting at St Giles cathedral and making its way down the Royal Mile towards Holyrood Park, passing Scottish Parliament and the Palace of Holyrood House. Hogmany celebrations Revellers braved blustery conditions to enjoy Hogmanay celebrations, after Storm Dylan earlier threatened to cause disruption. Gusts of up to 76mph were recorded in parts of Scotland on Sunday afternoon but conditions calmed, allowing one of the world's biggest street parties to go ahead as planned. Tens of thousands saw in 2018 against the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. Underbelly, which is producing the event for the first time, promised the "best party ever" for the 75,000 people attending, with live music, DJs, street entertainment and the "ultimate fireworks display" from Edinburgh Castle. Rag'n'Bone Man is headlining Concert in the Gardens, with Declan McKenna and Nina Nesbitt as support acts, while those performing on the three Street Party stages include The Human League, Sacred Paws, Treacherous Orchestra and Huey Morgan.