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Berlin - Silvesterfeier
Image: picture-alliance/dpa

New Year around the world - live updates

December 31, 2015

Happy New Year from Germany! Starting off and ending back in the Pacific, nations around the world are welcoming in 2016. Follow the celebrations as they happen with DW's live updates.


All updates in Universal Coordinated Time (UTC)

10:00 The party is still raging in Honolulu with fireworks exploding above the Hawaiian capital.

Meanwhile 4000 kilometers away (2,600 miles) to the southwest - in Samoa - it's already January 2.

08:00 The revelry reaches the West Coast of the US, with cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle ringing in 2016. As one might expect, the home of Hollywood had planned celebrations for all stripes, even punk rockers unlikely to lay that much stock in the rotation of a calendar.

05:00 More than a million people gathered to celebrate the New Year at New York's Times Square, as the change of date was marked by the traditional descent of a crystal ball down a pole. The transition - in an event that marks the centerpiece of New Year celebrations in the US - was greeted with cheers and applause.

04:00 Brazil kicked off its Olympic year with a party for two million people in Rio. They set off 24 tons of fireworks.

00:00 Hundreds of thousands watched the fireworks in London's clear night sky. Fireworks set off by the London Eye Ferris wheel on the banks of the River Thames started off the celebrations. Prime Minister David Cameron described the new year as a possible "game changer" for Britain.

23:00 Germany rings in the new year with celebrations across the country. Happy New Year everyone!

22:08 Munich police warns of a possible terror attack. "Please avoid large crowds and the main train station and the one in Pasing," they urged via Twitter:

21:35 Berlin: The area around the landmark Brandenburg Gate has been closed off by police. Police say that with hundreds of thousands of people already gathered there for the celebrations, there is no room for more. Security checks have been stepped up for this year, but partygoers in Berlin have taken it in stride.

21:28 Moscow: Tens of thousands of people celebrated the New Year in Gorki Park this year. The area was accessible only to those who held special tickets. Moscow had increased security fearing terror attacks because of Russia's anti-IS involvement in Syria.

Two million people celebrating at the Copa Cabana in Rio de Janeiro

20:49 Despite the clock striking midnight in Iran, many Iranians will not celebrate January 1 as New Year's Day. Instead, their celebration will begin on March 20 in line with the Persian New Year, which is determined by the Northern Hemisphere's vernal equinox.

20:32 Denmark's Prince Henrik, the husband of Queen Margrethe, is retiring. In her annual New Year's address, the reigning monarch said the 81-year-old prince "will only to a very limited extent partake in official events, which for so many years have been a natural part of his life."

20:19 Hundreds of thousands of people have gathered at Berlin's annual New Year's Eve party at the landmark Brandenburg Gate. Authorities spent the day searching the nearby Tiergarten park and fencing off the entire area. Big backpacks, bags, fireworks and sharp objects are banned from the party zone around the gate.

Silvester 2015 2016 Berlin Brandenburger Tor Deutschland
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/P. Zinken

20:07 A fireworks display has begun in Dubai despite a fire ripping through a luxury city hotel close to the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building. More than 1.3 tons of fireworks are scheduled to be set off during the show. The hotel building is still engulfed in flames.

20:00 How are the men and women onboard the International Space Station spending the evening?

19:36 Fireworks have been canceled at this year's celebrations in Paris as the threat of further militant attacks in France remains at its highest level. Instead, a five minute video display will be projected onto the Arc de Triomphe just before midnight and will be relayed on screens along the Champs Elysée. More than 100,000 police have been deployed throughout France to guard this evening's celebrations, which come six weeks after the jihadist attacks in Paris.

dubai video

19:23 Pope Francis, presiding over an end-of-year mass in St. Peter's Basilica, has used the New Year's Eve church service to encourage humanity to hang on to recollections of good deeds, so that gestures of goodness can be seen triumphing over evil.

Security fears dampen New Year spirit in Paris

18:58 Dubai's Civil Defense says the scheduled New Year's Eve fireworks display near the burning luxury hotel will go ahead as planned.

18:46 More than a million New Year's Eve revelers have crowded New York City's Times Square, preparing to spend hours waiting for the official celebrations to begin in nine hours. Cloudy skies and warmish temperatures are expected throughout the rest of the day.

Silvester 2015 2016 USA New York
Image: Getty Images/E.M.Alvarez

18:30 Large crowds gathered across India to celebrate the beginning of 2016.

18:15 A fire which broke out at a luxury five star hotel in Dubai is still burning near the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building.

Pope reflects on year of war and violence

17:45 A fire has broken out in a building near a massive fireworks display in Dubai. It was not immediately clear what caused the fire, which has run up to the top floor of a building near the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest skyscraper. Debris is raining down from the building as firefighters try to battle the blaze.

17:30 Meanwhile, this how Myanmar rang in the New Year.

Where are you ringing in the New Year, let us know where you are and what you are up to. Add your comments below. The thread stays open for 24 hours after posting.

17:00 In Taiwan, locals have celebrated the beginning of 2016 with 238 seconds of fireworks launched from the Taipei 101 building.

Fire breaks out near Dubai's tallest Skyscraper

16:50 The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have tweeted their New Year's greetings video message to the world.

16:30 Millions of party-goers are expected to gather at Berlin's annual New Year's Eve party at the landmark Brandenburg Gate. Authorities are not taking any risks with backpacks, bags, fireworks and sharp objects banned from the party zone around the gate. Nearby Tiergarten park has also been searched by security officers.

Fireworks at iconic Taipei 101 tower

North Korea was expected to mark the stroke of midnight with a speech by leader Kim Jong Un.

The clocks in Villar de Corneja may be set to the same time as the rest of Spain, but for the 86 residents of the tiny town in the northwest of the country, waiting until to midnight to usher in the new year is not an option. The small community, located 150 kilometers (93 miles) from Madrid, celebrated New Year's Eve at midday on Thursday, 12 hours ahead of the rest of the country. Locals, whose average age is older than 75, have rung in the new year 12 hours early since 2004. In keeping with Spanish tradition, locals gathered at the town square and ate a grape for each of the 12 tolls of the town hall's bell.

16:00 Australia's final major city, Perth has celebrated the new year with a spectacular fireworks display on the Swan River.

Locals in Hong Kong gathered along the harbor to watch the midnight fireworks display.

Official celebrations near Beijing's Forbidden City with performances and fireworks have taken place. For safety reasons, Shanghai closed subways around the party area as a result of a stampede at last year's celebrations that killed 36 people.

15:00 Millions of people in Japan have attended neighborhood temples, where the ritual ringing of the bells can be heard throughout the city. Tens of millions of locals are expected to visit shrines and temples across the country over the next few hours to pray for prosperity and good health at the beginning of the new year.

A number of revelers released balloons at the stroke of midnight around the Tokyo Tower.

All set for New Year's celebrations in Berlin

Security concerns did not stop thousands of people in Seoul, South Korea, from gathering to watch the fireworks display as the country rang in the new year.

14:30 The northern city of Darwin has followed Brisbane by half an hour in ringing in the New Year, as ever more of the vast Australian continent enters 2016.

13:30 Australia's southern city of Adelaide has now also entered 2016 with a series of festive events.

13:00 The eastern Australian city of Sydney is ringing in the New Year with a massive fireworks display around its famous harbor. A "Welcome to Country" indigenous ceremony acknowledging Australia's Aboriginal culture was also included in festivities, with images projected onto the pylons of the iconic Harbor Bridge. Melbourne and the capital, Canberra, also simultaneously celebrated the advent of 2016.

Revellers in Japan release balloons at midnight

11:00 New Zealand was the first country with a sizable population to bid farewell to 2015 and open the door to 2016.

Thousands of people gathered at Auckland's Sky Tower to count down the seconds, before greeting the new year with a fireworks display.

10:00 Happy New Year! Samoa and Kiribati are among the first countries to welcome in 2016.

Where are you ringing in the New Year, let us know where you are and what you are up to. Add your comments below. The thread stays open for 24 hours after posting.

jlw,tj,ksb/jil (AP, AFP)

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