12/31/2014 09:50 EST | Updated 12/31/2014 10:59 EST

17 Spectacular New Year's 2015 Photos From Around The World

Fantastic displays of fireworks illuminated night skies early Thursday as cities around the world celebrated the arrival of 2015.

Sydney’s pyrotechnic spectacle was broadcast to a billion people while one million gathered along the city’s iconic harbour to watch the show.

In Dubai, New Year’s celebrations included an attempt to break a world record for the largest LED-illuminated facade. Approximately 70,000 LED panels decorated the sides of the world’s tallest building – the Burj Khalifa – a bright spectacle which attracted thousands.

Over in London, thousands gathered in the city’s heart along the Thames to witness a dazzling 11-minute fireworks display to choreographed to electronic music. After the light show was over, the crowd leaned to tradition, singing “Auld Lang Syne” to herald in the new year.

Take a look at how people celebrated New Year's around the world:

  • Manila
    Aaron Favila/AP
    A Filipino watches a fireworks display at the Quezon Memorial Circle in suburban Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines on Jan. 1.
  • Auckland
    Dave Rowland/Getty Images
    Firework display from the top of the Sky Tower to welcome the New Year on January 1, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Sydney
    Rob Griffith/AP
    Fireworks explode over the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge during New Years Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia on Jan. 1. Thousands of people crammed into Lady Macquaries Chair look-out to see the new year in and watch the annual fireworks show.
  • Hong Kong
    Hong Kong
    Isaac Lawrence/AFP/Getty Images
    Fireworks explode over Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong on Jan. 1. Just like previous years, the city's iconic skyline along Victoria Harbour will light up with an eight-minute pyrotechnic display, as tens of thousands of partygoers will flock to the waterfront to celebrate.
  • Seoul
    Ahn Young-joon/AP
    A woman prays during New Year celebrations at Jogye Buddhist temple in Seoul, South Korea on Jan. 1.
  • Pyongyang
    Kim Kwang Hyon/AP
    North Koreans gather at the Kim Il Sung Square to watch a fireworks display as they usher in the new year on Jan. 1 in Pyongyang, North Korea.
  • Beijing
    Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images
    A woman uses her mobile phone to take a photo during the New Year's Eve countdown event in front of Beijing's National Stadium, Known as the Bird's Nest in Beijing on Dec. 31. Beijing is bidding to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, with a decision on the winning city to be made in July 2015.
  • Moscow
    Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
    Fireworks light up the sky above the Saint Basil's Cathedral during the welcoming ceremony for the new year at the Red Square in Moscow, Russia on Jan.1.
  • Cape Town
    Cape Town
    Schalk van Zuydam/AP
    A man sprays his drink over people as they celebrate the New Year in a main party zone in the city of Cape Town, South Africa on Jan 1.
  • Baghdad
    Hadi Mizban/AP
    A Iraqi Crowds cheer as the countdown and fireworks begin during a New Year's Day celebration at Firdous Square in Baghdad, Iraq on Dec. 31
  • Beirut
    Bilal Hussein/AP
    A man holds a heart-shaped hot-air balloon during the New Year's celebrations in downtown Beirut, Lebanon on Jan. 1.
  • Dubai
    Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images
    People watch as Dubai celebrates the New Year with a light and sound extravaganza at midnight at the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower on Jan. 1. The 828-metre (2,716-foot) tower was lit up with different-coloured panels as the clock counted down to 2015.
  • Berlin
    Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images
    Fireworks explode behind the quadriga of Berlin's landmark Brandenburg Gate to usher in the new year on Jan. 1.
  • Sarajevo
    Samir Yordamovic/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
    People gathered in Children of Sarajevo Square celebrate new year in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina on Jan.1.
  • London
    Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images
    Fireworks explode above The Elizabeth Tower, also known as 'Big Ben' during the New Year celebrations in central London just after midnight on Jan.1.
  • New Orleans
    New Orleans
    Brynn Anderson/AP
    Casey Pendry watches a second line parade down Royal Street in New Orleans, on Dec. 31. Pendry and her family traveled from Virginia to cheer for Alabama. Ohio State is slated to square off against Alabama for the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football game on New Year's Day.
  • New York City
    New York City
    Kathy Willens/AP
    Tourists Teru Udaka, left, and Yuko Yamakata, wearing 2015 glasses, join other friends from Osaka, Japan to celebrate New Year's Eve in Times Square hours before the start of the celebration in New York on Dec. 31.


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