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Spectacular new year firework displays welcome 2018

December 31, 2017
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Media captionFireworks in cities around the world also welcomed the new year

The UK has welcomed in the new year with spectacular firework displays in London and Edinburgh among the highlights.

More than 100,000 ticketholders watched London’s midnight firework show from the banks of the River Thames.

Big Ben also chimed to welcome in 2018 having been turned back on part way through restoration work.

Meanwhile, Hogmanay in Edinburgh went ahead, despite 76mph winds hitting parts of Scotland on Sunday.

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Image caption The fireworks illuminated Big Ben, which is undergoing restoration work

Tens of thousands of people descended on Edinburgh, despite earlier concerns that Storm Dylan might threaten events.

Rag’n’Bone Man headlined Concert in the Gardens, while The Human League were among the acts that took to the street party stages.

A soundscaped fireworks display over the castle entertained revellers for the first nine minutes of 2018.

In central London, the soundtrack to the midnight show was dominated by female artists, including Aretha Franklin, Ariana Grande and Florence Welch, to mark the centenary of women getting the vote.

Some 10,000 fireworks lit up the sky in a 12-minute display.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan tweeted that in London “we celebrate our diversity and strive for equality”.

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Image caption About 10,000 fireworks were set off in London
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Image caption Big Ben also chimed to welcome in 2018
Image copyrightAFP
Image caption Fireworks were launched from three barges on the Thames

Fewer Met Police officers were deployed during the celebrations, despite four terror attacks in the city in the past year.

Security at the event appeared tight, with armed police on patrol and security barriers erected.

Superintendent Nick Aldworth said “a mix of overt and covert officers” were on the streets, and CCTV and dogs were in use.

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Image caption Fireworks lit up the sky in Edinburgh during the Hogmanay celebrations
Image copyrightPA
Image caption Thousands of people gathered in Edinburgh
Image copyrightPA
Image caption Fireworks were set off above Edinburgh Castle