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Jubilant crowds mark start of 2018 across UK

December 31, 2017

In London, more than 100,000 people gathered on the banks of the River Thames for a 12-minute pyrotechnics extravaganza.

More than 10,000 fireworks lit up the sky during the sold-out event, which received cheers from the crowd.

They were accompanied by the music of Aretha Franklin, Annie Lennox, Ariana Grande, Dua Lipa and Florence Welch, with the second half of the show commemorating 100 years of women having the right to vote.

YOGYAKARTA, INDONESIA - JANUARY 01: Fireworks illuminate the city's skyline during New Year's Eve celebrations of 2018

Video:World sees in 2018 with stunning displays

Jubilant crowds were also treated to Big Ben’s bongs at midnight, with the famous clock’s four-year-long renovations temporarily put on hold for the occasion.

Although there were fewer police at the event than last year, security was still tight, with barriers and armed police patrolling a city which suffered four terrorist attacks in 2017.

Celebrations were marred by rail strikes – with a walkout by South Western Railway staff frustrating the plans of those seeking to travel into the UK’s busiest station, Waterloo.

The industrial action covered the period when many people would be trying to get home after the fireworks display.

Fireworks light up the sky during the Hogmanay New Year celebrations in Edinburgh.
Image:About 75,000 people were at Hogmanay celebrations in Edinburgh

In Edinburgh, about 75,000 were at Hogmanay celebrations, despite gusts of up to 76mph in parts of Scotland during the afternoon.

Rag’n’Bone Man headlined Concert in the Gardens, with Declan McKenna and Nina Nesbitt as support acts.

The Human League, Sacred Paws, Treacherous Orchestra and Huey Morgan also performed to crowds on three Street Party stages.

Fireworks were launched from Edinburgh Castle at 9pm, 10pm and 11pm – building up to a nine-minute finale at 12am.

  1. YOGYAKARTA, INDONESIA - JANUARY 01: Fireworks illuminate the city's skyline during New Year's Eve celebrations of 2018YOGYAKARTA, INDONESIA - JANUARY 01: Fireworks illuminate the city's skyline during New Year's Eve celebrations of 2018
    Image:In Yogyakarta, Indonesia, the city’s skyline was illuminated by fireworks
  2. Somali women and men enjoy a traditional dance as they celebrate the coming 2018 on New Year's eve on December 31, 2017, in Mogadishu, SomaliaSomali women and men enjoy a traditional dance as they celebrate the coming 2018 on New Year's eve on December 31, 2017, in Mogadishu, Somalia
    Image:Somalis danced as they celebrated the new year in Mogadishu, Somalia
  3. Fireworks explode during New Year celebrations in Minsk, Belarus January 1, 2018Fireworks explode during New Year celebrations in Minsk, Belarus January 1, 2018
    Image:Fireworks exploded over the skyline of Minsk, Belarus
  4. Revellers bid farewell to 2017 as they gather to celebrate New Years in Istanbul on December 31, 2017. Turkey arrested on December 31, 2017, more suspected Islamic State (IS) group jihadists in a major crackdown on the extremist group ahead of a New Year overshadowed by the first anniversary of the nightclub terror attack that left 39 deadRevellers bid farewell to 2017 as they gather to celebrate New Years in Istanbul on December 31, 2017. Turkey arrested on December 31, 2017, more suspected Islamic State (IS) group jihadists in a major crackdown on the extremist group ahead of a New Year overshadowed by the first anniversary of the nightclub terror attack that left 39 dead
    Image:Thousands of people gathered in Istanbul, Turkey, to countdown to 2018
  5. Fireworks explode over the Kremlin and St Basil Cathedral during New Year celebrations in central Moscow early on January 1, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV (Photo credit should read KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)Fireworks explode over the Kremlin and St Basil Cathedral during New Year celebrations in central Moscow early on January 1, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV (Photo credit should read KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)
    Image:Fireworks were seen over the Kremlin in central Moscow
  6. People watch fireworks in the rain ahead of the New Year at Marina Bay in SingaporePeople watch fireworks in the rain ahead of the New Year at Marina Bay in Singapore
    Image:The fireworks had to compete with the rain at Marina Bay in Singapore
  7. Fireworks explode over Victoria harbour during New Year celebrations in Hong Kong on January 1, 2018.Fireworks explode over Victoria harbour during New Year celebrations in Hong Kong on January 1, 2018.
    Image:Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour welcomed the New Year with fireworks
  8. Spectators watch a fireworks display at a amusement park in Pasay, Metro Manila, in the PhilippinesSpectators watch a fireworks display at a amusement park in Pasay, Metro Manila, in the Philippines
    Image:As did those gathered at an amusement park in Pasay, Metro Manila, in the Philippines
  9. SydneySydney
    Image:Sydney, Australia, had a fantastic pyrotechnics display
  10. NZNZ
    Image:New Zealand’s largest city Auckland was the first major centre to see 2018
  11. People react after counting down to New Year's day on January 1, 2018, during the New Year's music event at Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi, KenyaPeople react after counting down to New Year's day on January 1, 2018, during the New Year's music event at Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi, Kenya
    Image:In Nairobi, Kenya, they counted down to New Year’s Day at Kenyatta International Convention Centre
  12. People watch the first sunrise on New Year's Day at a beach in Tokyo, Japan, January 1, 2018People watch the first sunrise on New Year's Day at a beach in Tokyo, Japan, January 1, 2018
    Image:People watched the first sunrise on New Year’s Day at a beach in Tokyo, Japan
  13. Fireworks explode over Big Ben and Parliament as thousands gather to ring in the near year on January 1, 2018 in London, EnglandFireworks explode over Big Ben and Parliament as thousands gather to ring in the near year on January 1, 2018 in London, England
    Image:At least 100,000 people gathered on the Thames for London’s display
  14. Fireworks explode over the Brandenburg Gate during New Year's festivities on January 1, 2018 in Berlin, GermanyFireworks explode over the Brandenburg Gate during New Year's festivities on January 1, 2018 in Berlin, Germany
    Image:Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate was the scene for New Year festivities in Germany
  15. People wait for a moment to light a sign that reads 2018 during the New Year's Eve celebration on Nungwi Beach in Zanzibar, Tanzania, on December 31, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / GULSHAN KHAN (Photo credit should read GULSHAN KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)People wait for a moment to light a sign that reads 2018 during the New Year's Eve celebration on Nungwi Beach in Zanzibar, Tanzania, on December 31, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / GULSHAN KHAN (Photo credit should read GULSHAN KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)
    Image:On Nungwi Beach in Zanzibar, Tanzania, they waited for 2018 to arrive
  16. Fireworks explode over downtown Beirut, Lebanon, during New Year's celebrations, on January 1, 2018Fireworks explode over downtown Beirut, Lebanon, during New Year's celebrations, on January 1, 2018
    Image:Downtown Beirut was lit up as thousands celebrated in the rain
  17. Fireworks are seen during New Year celebrations in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on January 1, 2018Fireworks are seen during New Year celebrations in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on January 1, 2018
    Image:Pyongyang had fireworks in this photo from North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency
  18. Fireworks light up the Atomium building, a metal structure built in the form of a crystal of iron, as part of new year celebrations in Brussels, Belgium January 1, 2018Fireworks light up the Atomium building, a metal structure built in the form of a crystal of iron, as part of new year celebrations in Brussels, Belgium January 1, 2018
    Image:Fireworks lit up the Atomium building, a famous metal structure in Brussels, Belgium
  19. People dance during the New Year's celebrations on a beach in Mumbai, India, January 1, 2018People dance during the New Year's celebrations on a beach in Mumbai, India, January 1, 2018
    Image:People danced during the New Year’s celebrations in Mumbai, India
  20. Fireworks explode over the ancient Parthenon temple atop the Acropolis hill during New Year's day celebrations in Athens, Greece, January 1, 2018Fireworks explode over the ancient Parthenon temple atop the Acropolis hill during New Year's day celebrations in Athens, Greece, January 1, 2018
    Image:Fireworks exploded over the ancient Parthenon temple at the top of the Acropolis hill
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Celebrations have been taking place around the world – and New Zealand was first to welcome in 2018, with fireworks focused around Auckland’s Sky Tower.

The Australian city of Sydney followed, keeping up its reputation as having one of the world’s best pyrotechnics displays centred on Harbour Bridge. Turnout was healthy to say the least, with an estimated 500,000 spectators in attendance.

Colourful shows in Hong Kong, Beijing, Paris and Berlin followed – with Dubai opting to mark the New Year with an extravagant lights show at the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.

All eyes now are on the States, with enthusiastic crowds flocking to New York City as midnight approaches.

Revellers in Times Square have been urged to wrap up warm as temperatures of -11C are forecast, making it the coldest New Year’s Eve since 1962.