How the world brought in New Year 2017 | World| Breakings news and perspectives from around the globe | DW | 31.12.2016
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How the world brought in New Year 2017

DW has followed celebrations across the globe. As the world welcomed in the new year amid heightened security, celebrations were overshadowed by a deadly armed attack on an Istanbul nightclub.

All updates in Universal Coordinated Time (UTC)

1100 Hawaii was one of the last places to welcome 2017. Meanwhile, Samoa marked the second day of January.

0800 In downtown Los Angeles, some 50,000 joined New Year's celebrations at Grand Park, where dancing ensued in the streets. At least 600 police officers from various law enforcement agencies had been deployed in the area, according to local news.

0500 The famous Times Square ball has dropped, marking the beginning of the New Year for New Yorkers in the "Big Apple." However, the show was not without its controversies. American singer Mariah Carey apologized for a performance mishap, citing technical difficulties. She remained resilient despite criticism from social media users.

0200 Rio de Janeiro has brought in the New Year with a flashy fireworks show over the world-renowned Copacabana beach, accompanied by warm weather typical of their southern hemisphere summer. 

0023 Istanbul's governor says 35 people have been killed in the nightclub attack in Istanbul, several news agencies report. He said 40 others were wounded in what he described as a "terror attack" by a lone gunman, as people were celebrating the New Year.

Local media reports that between 700 and 800 people were ringing in 2017 at the club when the gunman opened fire.

Many party-goers threw themselves into the Bosphorus strait in panic after the attack and efforts were underway to rescue them from the waters, NTV television said.

0019 Fireworks lit up the London skyline as tens of thousands of people watched from the banks of the River Thames to see in 2017 at midnight. Security was tightened following the Berlin attack.

2340 Police in Berlin say the city's New Year events have been largely peaceful, although there were two reports of sexual harassment. Hundreds of thousands of people turned out for the fireworks, which included a concert by the British singer Bonnie Tyler.

2335 France's capital Paris rang in the New Year with tens of thousands of people turning out for the annual fireworks display at the upscale avenue known as Champs-Élysées. Security was tightened across the country following several terrorist atrocities over the past two years.

Officials said more than 96,000 police and soldiers have been deployed over the New Year's weekend.

2309 Two people have been killed and several more injured in an armed attack on an Istanbul nightclub, Turkish media reports. 

The broadcaster NTV said around 20-30 people have been wounded. 

The attack happened during New Year's celebrations at the Reina club in the Ortaköy district, which is one of the city's popular entertainment neighborhoods. Several police and ambulances are reported to be at the scene.

CNN Turk reported that the attackers were wearing Santa Claus outfits. The TV channel says one attacker is still inside the nightclub.

NTV tweeted a picture of an armored truck outside the club, which is located on the banks of the Bosphorus strait that runs through the city.

2300 Hundreds of thousands of people have seen in the New Year across Europe with fireworks, light shows and concerts.

In the German capital, Berlin, police had to close the Festmeile (Festival Mile) close to the Brandenburg Gate due to the influx of revelers. Security has been tightened across Germany following the December 19 Christmas Market attack that left 12 people dead. 

New Year's festivities have gone ahead in the western city of Cologne, with a large gathering outside the main railway station and famous Cathedral. The city was the scene of hundreds of sex-crimes against women during last year's celebrations and police have pulled out all the stops to avoid a repeat of the mass disturbances.

2250 Police in Cologne say 300 people have been removed from a train at Cologne-Messe/Deutz station for additional security screening.

2240 Earlier, New Years Eve coincided with celebrations to mark Sudan's 61st year of independence with fireworks outside the presidential palace in Khartoum.

2236 Police in Cologne confirm that they have screened a large number of men of North African origin outside the main railway station, where last year's sex attacks took place. More than a thousand people faced additional security checks, Cologne's police chief Jürgen Mathies said.

As part of the deployment of extra 1,500 officers for this year's celebrations, extra female officers are on patrol to provide immediate assistance to women in case of any disturbances. A temporary counseling center has been set up for women to report any crimes.

2200 South Africa, Greece, Egypt and Israel are among the latest countries to ring in 2017.

2157 Contrary to fears that many Berliners may stay at home on New Year's Eve, police in the German capital have appealed to revelers not to try to enter the Festmeile (Festival Mile) leading to the Brandenburg Gate. In a tweet, they said the area is now packed with people and they're not allowing any one else in for now.


2143 DW Reporter Dana Regev reports from Cologne that she has seen police arrest at least three people.

2115 French President Francois Hollande warned against the threat of nationalism during his final New Year's Eve address. A presidential election is slated for the spring but Hollande, whose popularity is at record lows, is not running for re-election.


2049 DW's Dana Regev reports from Cologne that police are taking people aside and checking their documents.

2030 Police in Berlin have arrested a man who shouted "bomb, bomb, bomb" at the city's massive open-air New Year's party. Police are not amused: using the hashtag "#nichtlustig" - meaning "not funny" - Berlin police tweeted that the unidentified man "is now celebrating with us." Tens of thousands of revelers are celebrating the New Year near Berlin's Brandenburg Gate amid tight security.

1830 India and Sri Lanka

While New Year's Eve is typically a time for family in much of India, in New Delhi and other cities lavish parties at upscale hotels and restaurants are also popular, as they often feature song and dance performances from Bollywood and television stars.

1730 Pope Francis called on the Catholic faithful to help young people find a place in society, noting the paradox of "a culture that idolizes youth" but made no place for them.

Myanmar and the Australian territory of the Cocos Islands both entered 2017. The Burmese celebrate their new year during April according to their traditional calendar.

1700 Indonesia Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos all ushered in the new year together.

Jakarta called off planned street celebrations over traffic concerns, instead replacing it with several smaller entertainment options, the "Jakarta Globe" newspaper reported.

Thailand welcomed the new year on a more somber note after King Bhumibol Adulyadej died in October. New King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun thanked the Thai people for their support in a new year's address, broadcaster Thai PBS reported.

1600 China, Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, parts of Indonesia, Western Australia, Brunei, and the Russian city of Irkutsk simultaneously watched the clock strike midnight.

In China, which operates on a single time zone despite its size, residents of Beijing and Shanghai passed new year in a security lockdown. Authorities advised citizens to avoid crowded areas. Two years ago 30 people died in a New Year's Eve stampede on the Shanghai waterfront.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a televised address that his government would continue to focus on alleviating poverty at home and resolutely defending China's territorial rights.

In the Philippines citizens detonated powerful firecrackers and fireworks in notoriously dangerous celebrations after President Rodrigo Duterte delayed to next year his ban on their use. Last year they caused a massive fire which burnt down 1,000 homes.

Hong Kong celebrated with a street party and a massive fireworks display over Victoria Harbour. Police expected 330,000 people to attend, "South China Morning Post," reported.

Fireworks over Hong Kong 2017 (Reuters/B.Yip)

Police said 330,000 people were expected to watch Hong Kong's fireworks

In Irkutsk celebrations were dampened following the deaths of 77 people over the past month due to contaminated alcohol sold as bath oil, triggering an emergency declaration.

In Singapore there was a large fireworks display over Marina Bay. Hotel Marina Bay Sands posted a photo on Twitter.

1530 Half an hour after its southern neighbor, the isolated Democratic People's Republic of Korea celebrated new year. Fireworks lit up the capital Pyongyang as custodians reportedly rang national treasure the Pyongyang Bell. 

State-run television broadcast the display.

1500 Japan, South Korea, East Timor, part of Russia and part of Indonesia all clocked over to 2017.

Millions of people visited temples across Japan, including at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, which expected 3 million visits over the next three days. "Japan Today" reported up to 35 percent of the country's television audience will watch the annual four-hour "Kohaku Uta Gassen" variety show. 

People walk underneath ornaments as they visit the Sensoji temple in Tokyo on New Year's Eve (Getty Images/T.Yamanaka)

Millions of people in Japan make midnight temple visits to welcome the new year

In the Korean capital of Seoul, hundreds of thousands of people ushered in the new year with massive protests against disgraced President Park Geun-hye.

1440 US President-elect Donald Trump sent an unusual new year greeting to his Twitter followers. 

"Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don't know what to do. Love," he wrote.

1430 About 5,000 people gathered to welcome the new year in the northern Australian city of Darwin, according to national broadcaster ABC. The central city of Alice Springs was on the same schedule.

1400 The eastern Australian state of Queensland, including a reported 90,000 people in the city of Brisbane welcomed the transition with fireworks. The city's official Twitter account posted a picture of festivities.

Papuan capital Port Moresby, further regions of Antarctica and Guam, where surfers had reportedly enjoyed a final great swell of the year, entered 2017 at the same time, a Tweet from a local newspaper showed.

1330 Half an hour later, clocks in the southern Australian city of Adelaide ticked over. 

1300 Midnight celebrations in Sydney kicked off with more than one million people lining the shores of Sydney Harbor. The biggest fireworks display in the city's history paid tribute to many artists who had died in 2016, including a shower of purple fireworks as Prince's "Purple Rain" played and fireworks in the shapes of planets in a nod to David Bowie. A Tweet from the City of Sydney showed a snapshot of the display.

About 500,000 people in the Australian city of Melbourne, and the people of Vanuatu, Micronesia, the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, parts of Antarctica, and parts of Russia all gathered to welcome 2017 as well.

1200 The Republic of Nauru, the tiny island nation home to hundreds of refugees mandatorily detained by Australia immigration authorities, was next in line to celebrate the new year. The island's official Twitter account posted a picture of revelries in the country, which has all but banned foreign journalists.

Other areas to celebrate included some eastern parts of Russia, Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands, which has recently suffered widespread internet blackouts.

1100 - Mainland New Zealand welcomed the new year with a midnight fireworks and laser display in Auckland. It launched a reported 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds) of fireworks over five minutes from the city's iconic  328-meter Sky Tower in front of an estimated crowd of 30,000.

1000 - The people of Samoa, Kiribati and Tonga were the first in the world to celebrate the New Year.

A total 400,000 residents of the Pacific islands, brought in 2017 with feasts and cheers.

Parts of Samoa including its capital Apia were flooded by continuing heavy rains, forcing celebrations under cover.

Almost straddling the international date line, the small country legally switched over their time zone in 2012 to avoid being 23 hours behind major trade partner New Zealand. 

Following the three Pacific Islands the 600 residents of New Zealand's remote archipelago of Chatham, about 680 kilometers (422 miles) southeast of the main islands will pop the Champagne corks.

Half an hour later, mainland New Zealand and the population of Fiji will begin the countdown.

Early arrivals claim prime positions to watch fireworks in front of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia (Reuters/J. Reed)

More than one million people are expected to gather for Sydney's fireworks display

 "This year, sadly, we saw the loss of many music and entertainment legends around the world," fireworks co-producer Catherine Flanagan said. "So celebrating their music as part of Sydney New Year's Eve fireworks displays is an opportunity to reflect on the year that has been and what the future may hold."

In Germany, people were preparing to welcome in the new year beginning with the ceremonial broadcasting of cult British TV classic Dinner for One.

Authorities in Germany placed bans on the right-wing extremist National Party of Germany (NPD) and the populist, anti-migrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) from holding rallies in Cologne, the site of mass sexual attacks by immigrants on the evening of December 31st last year, citing safety concerns. The city beefed up security  this year.

In Madrid thousands of locals and tourists celebrated one day early on Friday night thanks to a city clock that tests its bell early. 

In the square of Puerto del Sol revelers met each 12 strikes of the bell tower with cheers and revelry at midnight, eating a grape with each chime to bring good luck.

This New Year's Eve December 31st will be one second longer than usual as keepers of the time add a leap second to compensate for the Earth's slightly slower rotation.

Watch video 04:47

New Year's Eve traditions in Europe

aw. blk, mm /rc, se (EFE, dpa, AP)

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