Happy New Year! How did those already in 2016 celebrate?
Published 31/12/2015 | 13:31
While it may not be 2016 for Europe just yet, for some countries in the Southern Hemisphere, their New Year celebrations have been and gone.
100,000 fireworks will be set off around the world before the final midnight bell tolls. How are countries around the world - some already in 2016, some not yet - celebrating?
Australia - 2016!
In Sydney, city-dwellers saw in the New Year in traditional Sydney style, with the spectacular annual fireworks show over Sydney Harbour, accompanied by pyrotechnic shows at the Harbour Bridge.
2,400 fireworks were launched in front of between 1.2 and two million people, and more than one billion people around the world will have seen the spectacle before the New Year arrives.
In Lismore on the North Coast, the LGBTI Tropical Fruits New Year's Eve Festival lit up the central business district earlier with it's colourful and glittery celebrations of LGBT people and culture.
Melbourne experienced a "sweltering" New Year's Eve, according to ABC Online. Up to 500,000 people were expected in the city's central business district before the clock strikes twelve.
In Byron Bay, Australia, revellers turned out in their droves for the New Year's Eve 'Falls Festival'.
New Zealand - 2016!
Although New Years is first celebrated in Samoa and Christmas Island/Kiribati, New Zealand was the first major country to welcome 2016 in a big way.
The Auckland Sky Tower lit up in celebration during what is being reported as the country's biggest ever NYE celebration. The tower is the tallest in the entire Southern Hemisphere.
25,000 New Zealand revellers were treated to a dazzling annual fireworks show, in which more than 500kg of fireworks lit up the night sky.
SKYCITY provided a four-hour laser animation show which was beamed onto the Sky Tower, ending with a five-minute pyrotechnic display at midnight.
New York - 2015
New York is famous for the huge New Year's party in Times Square, where the giant, 11,875 pounds ball is dropped on the stroke of midnight after being lit some six hours earlier. When the ball drops, lights spelling out '2016' will light up above Times Square, and confetti will shower from the rooftops as fireworks light the sky.
Dubai - 2015
In Dubai, three separate firework displays are set to wow spectators. The show starts from the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building at 828m (905 yards). Already, organisers say the tower has been fitted with 400,000 LED lights and 1.6 tons of fireworks will be used in the display.
From there, fireworks also will light up the sky around the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab and later down near the Dubai Marina. Fireworks also will be on display in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the country of seven emirates.
The fireworks will end a year of challenges for the United Arab Emirates, which saw global oil prices drop below 40 US dollars a barrel and dozens of its soldiers killed in the ongoing Saudi-led war against Shiite rebels in Yemen.
Meanwhile, the Middle East as a whole still reels from the onslaught of the Islamic State group.
A New Year's tradition in Ecuador is for men to dress in clown drag, representing the "widow" of the year that has passed. These men often stop cars and the drivers give them coins in order to freely move through the streets.
Fireworks are lit at midnight along with thousands of life-size effigies called "Año Viejo", which are placed outside the front of people's homes. This effigy represents the bad from the previous year and often resemble people in the public eye. These are burned at the stroke of midnight to leave behind the bad and enter the new year free. Some Ecuadorians will jump through the burning fires twelve times to represent a wish for every month.
There are fireworks shows all around the country with one million people attending the most popular, the "Año Nuevo en el Mar", in Valparaiso. In Santiago, thousands will gather at the Entel Tower to watch their display.
Dublin's celebrations include a 'Street Fest' in the city centre on Stephen's Green South, with all proceeds going to the National Centre for the Blind of Ireland.
For those wishing to stay indoors, the Countdown Concert is on at the 3 Arena, where The Coronoas, Fatboy Slim, Kila, Ryan Sheridan and Little Hours will be ushering out 2015 with a bang.