Australia welcomes 2021 with Sydney fireworks hailed as 'beacon of hope'

Australia welcomed Sydney 2021 with a breathtaking fireworks display, celebrated as the “beacon of hope” for the New Year.

The crowds have been banned from gathering at the harbor – typically around a million people come to see the show.

Last year the fireworks were also almost canceled due to the deadly spread of forest fires over thousands of kilometers.

A message saying “Stay Covid Safe” was projected onto a pylon prior to the main show.

New Zealand used to start the new year with fireworks in Auckland.

Crowds gathered by the water to watch the show as the land entered 11 hours before the UK in 2021, according to GMT.

Follow the latest New Year news from around the world on our live blog here

Christchurch also hosted fireworks to mark 2021 after the city council said the event followed a “challenging year”.

Tanya Cokojic said, “2020 has been a challenging year and we will see it in style.

“When the clock strikes midnight, we will light up the sky over Hagley Park with breathtaking fireworks from the fireworks professionals.”

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Samoa was the first country in the world to greet 2021, marking the New Year with fireworks from the capital, Apia.

The government shared a Live video of the fireworks, which also shows houses decorated for the festive season.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi wished his citizens all the best for a message of hope for 2021.

January 1st in the islands began on December 31st at 10am GMT.

And while the island of American Samoa is just an hour’s flight from Samoa, it’s 25 hours ago and will be one of the last places the New Year begins.

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The last place to greet the New Year is on the uninhabited Howland and Baker Islands near the United States, held on January 1st at 12 p.m. GMT.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, people have been warned to cut back on celebrations for the New Year in order to contain the spread of Covid-19.

In the UK, where almost eight out of ten people stay at home today, the government has urged everyone to avoid meeting people from different households.

As countries around the world plan for quieter celebrations this year, there are some cheering scenes even before the New Year celebrations.

In New York, the traditional Time Square NYE Ball Drop will be broadcast live.

The virtual celebrations begin at 6 p.m. UK time and include hourly countdowns and live performances from Pitbull, Anitta, Jennifer Lopez and Cyndi Lauper, Jimmie Allen.

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