Happy New Year 2019: Photos and Videos Show How People Celebrated Around the World

People around the world have been celebrating the New Year, welcoming in 2019 with fireworks and displays long before the U.S.

Among the first places to see January 1 were Samoa and Kiribati, with Pacific Ocean nations beginning the New Year over 24 hours before the last—mainly outlying islands belonging to the U.S., such as Baker Island and Howland Island.

In New Zealand, thousands of people went to the Sky Tower in Auckland to watch the fireworks display, Stuff reports. Many more took to the country's beaches, while an estimated 21,000 people attended the Rhythm and Vines music festival.

Auckland fireworks
Fireworks in Auckland, New Zealand. Phil Walter/Getty Images for ATEED

A few hours later, people in Australia—which spans three time zones—started celebrations. In Sydney, which is the biggest city in the country, around 1.5 million people packed into Sydney Harbor to watch a huge fireworks display, news.com.au reports. According to the website, the display lasted for 12 minutes and saw 8.5 tonnes of fireworks light up the sky.

Following Australia was China and Indonesia. In China, President Xi delivered a New Year speech in which he asked people to continue to work together to achieve "an unprecedented and great cause," Xinhua reports. This year will be the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Beijing New Year
New Year's Eve on December 31, 2018 in Beijing, China. Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

The next countries to see in the New Year included Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Sri Lanka. In Mumbai, India, there were "extensive fireworks," The Indian Express reports. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted a message to people across the country: "Wishing everyone a joyous 2019! May everyone be happy and healthy. I pray that all your wishes are fulfilled in 2019."

In Russia, there was a huge fireworks display in Moscow, with pyrotechnics lighting up the city's Red Square. In his New Year's address Russian President Vladimir Putin talked about the challenges facing the country over the coming year, Russia Today reports: "We can achieve it only if we stand together side by side. We had never had helpers and will never have," he is quoted as saying.

Putin New Year
Putin during his New Year address. MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images
Moscow new year
People pose for photos in front of an illuminated '2019' sign on a square in central Moscow. MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images

In the U.K., around 100,000 people turned up on the banks of the River Thames to watch the fireworks display. In his message, London Mayor Sadiq Khan—who has repeatedly said President Donald Trump is not welcome in the capital—said the city's diversity is its strength and that people from across Europe "will always be welcome." Prime Minister Theresa May said: "New Year is a time to look ahead. 2019 can be the year we put our differences aside and move forward together."

Five hours later, New York welcomed in the New Year, with thousands of people flocking to Times Square to watch the ball drop. In Washington D.C., the White House said 2018 had been "a year of historic accomplishments," while Trump tweeted: "HAPPY NEW YEAR!"

Happy New Year 2019: Photos and Videos Show How People Celebrated Around the World | World