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New Year: Australia and New Zealand lead celebrations to welcome in 2015

In Pictures: New Year 2015 celebrations begin around the world Close

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 01:  Firework display from the top of the Sky Tower to welcome the New Year on January 1, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Dave Rowland/Getty Images)

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 01: Firework display from the top of the Sky Tower to welcome the New Year on January 1, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Dave Rowland/Getty Images)

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Fireworks explode over the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge during New Years Eve  celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015. Thousands of people crammed into Lady Macquaries Chair look-out to see the new year in and watch the annual fireworks show. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

Fireworks explode over the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge during New Years Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015. Thousands of people crammed into Lady Macquaries Chair look-out to see the new year in and watch the annual fireworks show. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

AP

Fireworks explode over the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge during New Years Eve  celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015. Thousands of people crammed into Lady Macquaries Chair look-out to see the new year in and watch the annual fireworks show. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

Fireworks explode over the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge during New Years Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015. Thousands of people crammed into Lady Macquaries Chair look-out to see the new year in and watch the annual fireworks show. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

AP

Fireworks explode off the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Fireworks explode off the Sydney Harbour Bridge

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31:  Fireworks explode off the Sydney Harbour Bridge during the midnight fireworks display on New Year's Eve on Sydney Harbour on December 31, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31: Fireworks explode off the Sydney Harbour Bridge during the midnight fireworks display on New Year's Eve on Sydney Harbour on December 31, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31:  Fireworks explode off the Sydney Harbour Bridge during the midnight fireworks display on New Year's Eve on Sydney Harbour on December 31, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31: Fireworks explode off the Sydney Harbour Bridge during the midnight fireworks display on New Year's Eve on Sydney Harbour on December 31, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31:  Fireworks explode off the Sydney Harbour Bridge during the midnight fireworks display on New Year's Eve on Sydney Harbour on December 31, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31: Fireworks explode off the Sydney Harbour Bridge during the midnight fireworks display on New Year's Eve on Sydney Harbour on December 31, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31:  Fireworks explode off the Sydney Harbour Bridge during the midnight fireworks display on New Year's Eve on Sydney Harbour on December 31, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31: Fireworks explode off the Sydney Harbour Bridge during the midnight fireworks display on New Year's Eve on Sydney Harbour on December 31, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31:  Fireworks explode off the Sydney Harbour Bridge during the midnight fireworks display on New Year's Eve on Sydney Harbour on December 31, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31: Fireworks explode off the Sydney Harbour Bridge during the midnight fireworks display on New Year's Eve on Sydney Harbour on December 31, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

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WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - DECEMBER 31:  The New Year's Eve midnight fireworks display brings in the New Year on December 31, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. Wellington is the first capital city in the world to see in the New Year. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - DECEMBER 31: The New Year's Eve midnight fireworks display brings in the New Year on December 31, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. Wellington is the first capital city in the world to see in the New Year. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

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WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - DECEMBER 31:  The New Year's Eve midnight fireworks display brings in the New Year on December 31, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. Wellington is the first capital city in the world to see in the New Year. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - DECEMBER 31: The New Year's Eve midnight fireworks display brings in the New Year on December 31, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. Wellington is the first capital city in the world to see in the New Year. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

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The New Year's Eve midnight fireworks display brings in the New Year in Wellington, New Zealand

The New Year's Eve midnight fireworks display brings in the New Year in Wellington, New Zealand

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WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - DECEMBER 31:  The New Year's Eve midnight fireworks display brings in the New Year on December 31, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. Wellington is the first capital city in the world to see in the New Year. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - DECEMBER 31: The New Year's Eve midnight fireworks display brings in the New Year on December 31, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. Wellington is the first capital city in the world to see in the New Year. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

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WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - DECEMBER 31:  The New Year's Eve midnight fireworks display brings in the New Year on December 31, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. Wellington is the first capital city in the world to see in the New Year. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - DECEMBER 31: The New Year's Eve midnight fireworks display brings in the New Year on December 31, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. Wellington is the first capital city in the world to see in the New Year. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

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WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - DECEMBER 31:  The New Year's Eve midnight fireworks display brings in the New Year on December 31, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. Wellington is the first capital city in the world to see in the New Year. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - DECEMBER 31: The New Year's Eve midnight fireworks display brings in the New Year on December 31, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. Wellington is the first capital city in the world to see in the New Year. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

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WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - DECEMBER 31:  The New Year's Eve midnight fireworks display brings in the New Year on December 31, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. Wellington is the first capital city in the world to see in the New Year. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - DECEMBER 31: The New Year's Eve midnight fireworks display brings in the New Year on December 31, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. Wellington is the first capital city in the world to see in the New Year. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

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AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 01:  Firework display from the top of the Sky Tower to welcome the New Year on January 1, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Dave Rowland/Getty Images)

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 01: Firework display from the top of the Sky Tower to welcome the New Year on January 1, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Dave Rowland/Getty Images)

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AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 01:  Firework display from the top of the Sky Tower to welcome the New Year on January 1, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Dave Rowland/Getty Images)

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 01: Firework display from the top of the Sky Tower to welcome the New Year on January 1, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Dave Rowland/Getty Images)

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AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 01:  Firework display from the top of the Sky Tower to welcome the New Year on January 1, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Dave Rowland/Getty Images)

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 01: Firework display from the top of the Sky Tower to welcome the New Year on January 1, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Dave Rowland/Getty Images)

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AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 01:  Firework display from the top of the Sky Tower to welcome the New Year on January 1, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Dave Rowland/Getty Images)

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 01: Firework display from the top of the Sky Tower to welcome the New Year on January 1, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Dave Rowland/Getty Images)

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Fireworks explode over the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge during New Years Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014. Thousands of people crammed into Lady Macquaries Chair to watch the annual fireworks show. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

Fireworks explode over the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge during New Years Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014. Thousands of people crammed into Lady Macquaries Chair to watch the annual fireworks show. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

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The sun rises for the  last time in 2014 over Tynemouth on the North East Coast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday December 31, 2014. See PA story WEATHER NYE. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

The sun rises for the last time in 2014 over Tynemouth on the North East Coast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday December 31, 2014. See PA story WEATHER NYE. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

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Fireworks explode over the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge during New Years Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014. Thousands of people crammed into Lady Macquaries Chair to watch the annual fireworks show. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

Fireworks explode over the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge during New Years Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014. Thousands of people crammed into Lady Macquaries Chair to watch the annual fireworks show. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

AP

Fireworks explode over the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge during New Year's Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014. Thousands of people crammed into Lady Macquaries Chair to watch the annual fireworks show. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

Fireworks explode over the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge during New Year's Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014. Thousands of people crammed into Lady Macquaries Chair to watch the annual fireworks show. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

AP

Fireworks explode over the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge during New Years Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014. Thousands of people crammed into Lady Macquaries Chair to watch the annual fireworks show. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

Fireworks explode over the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge during New Years Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014. Thousands of people crammed into Lady Macquaries Chair to watch the annual fireworks show. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

AP

Fireworks explode over the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge during New Year's Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014. Thousands of people crammed into Lady Macquaries Chair to watch the annual fireworks show. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

Fireworks explode over the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge during New Year's Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014. Thousands of people crammed into Lady Macquaries Chair to watch the annual fireworks show. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

AP

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31:  Fireworks explode off the Sydney Harbour Bridge during the 9pm fireworks display on New Year's Eve on Sydney Harbour on December 31, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31: Fireworks explode off the Sydney Harbour Bridge during the 9pm fireworks display on New Year's Eve on Sydney Harbour on December 31, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31:  Fireworks explode over Sydney Harbour during the 9pm fireworks display on New Year's Eve on Sydney Harbour on December 31, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31: Fireworks explode over Sydney Harbour during the 9pm fireworks display on New Year's Eve on Sydney Harbour on December 31, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

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Fireworks explode over the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House during New Year's Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

Fireworks explode over the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House during New Year's Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

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Fireworks explode over the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House during New Year's Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

Fireworks explode over the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House during New Year's Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

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Buddhists attend New Year's Eve celebrations at the Bongeun Buddhist temple in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Buddhists attend New Year's Eve celebrations at the Bongeun Buddhist temple in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

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Fireworks explode at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre over the Victoria Harbor during New Year's Eve to celebrate the start of 2014 in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014 (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Fireworks explode at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre over the Victoria Harbor during New Year's Eve to celebrate the start of 2014 in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014 (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

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Fireworks explode at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre over the Victoria Harbor during New Year's celebrations in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014 (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Fireworks explode at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre over the Victoria Harbor during New Year's celebrations in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014 (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

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Fireworks explode at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre over the Victoria Harbor during New Year's Eve to celebrate the start of 2014 in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014 (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Fireworks explode at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre over the Victoria Harbor during New Year's Eve to celebrate the start of 2014 in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014 (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

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Fireworks explode over the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House during New Year's Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

Fireworks explode over the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House during New Year's Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

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People gather at the Zojoji Buddhist temple in Tokyo to celebrate the New Year, early Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

People gather at the Zojoji Buddhist temple in Tokyo to celebrate the New Year, early Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

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Pope Francis checks time after visiting the nativity scene set in St. Peter's square following a New Year's Eve vespers service he celebrated in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. Pope Francis has used his traditional year-end prayer service of thanksgiving to urge people to ask themselves: Did they spend 2013 to further their own interests or to help others? That's what we all should "courageously" consider as New Year's celebrations get under way, the pontiff said, as he led the service in St. Peter's Basilica on Tuesday evening. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Francis checks time after visiting the nativity scene set in St. Peter's square following a New Year's Eve vespers service he celebrated in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. Pope Francis has used his traditional year-end prayer service of thanksgiving to urge people to ask themselves: Did they spend 2013 to further their own interests or to help others? That's what we all should "courageously" consider as New Year's celebrations get under way, the pontiff said, as he led the service in St. Peter's Basilica on Tuesday evening. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

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Fireworks light up the sky as Filipinos welcome the New Year Wednesday Jan. 1, 2014, in Manila, Philippines. Traditionally, Filipinos welcome the New Year with fireworks and firecrackers and making the loudest noise possible, including indiscriminate firing of their guns which sometimes result in injuries and deaths. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

Fireworks light up the sky as Filipinos welcome the New Year Wednesday Jan. 1, 2014, in Manila, Philippines. Traditionally, Filipinos welcome the New Year with fireworks and firecrackers and making the loudest noise possible, including indiscriminate firing of their guns which sometimes result in injuries and deaths. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

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Laser lights shoot from towers during a New Year's Eve count down to 2014 held at the Great Wall of China in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Laser lights shoot from towers during a New Year's Eve count down to 2014 held at the Great Wall of China in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

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Fireworks explode over Juche Tower and the Taedong River in Pyongyang, North Korea to celebrate the New Year on Wednesday, Jan 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)

Fireworks explode over Juche Tower and the Taedong River in Pyongyang, North Korea to celebrate the New Year on Wednesday, Jan 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)

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Thousands of people gather in the main business district to watch a fireworks display on New Year's Eve in Jakarta, Indonesia, late Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)

Thousands of people gather in the main business district to watch a fireworks display on New Year's Eve in Jakarta, Indonesia, late Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)

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Fireworks explode over the financial district at midnight, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014 in Singapore. Celebrations started on New Year's Eve where concerts were held and thousands gathered on the streets to usher in the Year 2014. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Fireworks explode over the financial district at midnight, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014 in Singapore. Celebrations started on New Year's Eve where concerts were held and thousands gathered on the streets to usher in the Year 2014. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

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Fireworks over the church of St Thomas the martyr at the New Year's eve Winter Carnival in Newcastle city centre. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday December 31, 2013. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Fireworks over the church of St Thomas the martyr at the New Year's eve Winter Carnival in Newcastle city centre. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday December 31, 2013. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

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Performers at the New Year's eve Winter Carnival in Newcastle city centre. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday December 31, 2013. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Performers at the New Year's eve Winter Carnival in Newcastle city centre. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday December 31, 2013. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

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Fireworks over the church of St Thomas the martyr at the New Year's eve Winter Carnival in Newcastle city centre. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday December 31, 2013. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Fireworks over the church of St Thomas the martyr at the New Year's eve Winter Carnival in Newcastle city centre. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday December 31, 2013. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

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Spark drummers performing at the New Year's eve Winter Carnival in Newcastle city centre. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday December 31, 2013. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Spark drummers performing at the New Year's eve Winter Carnival in Newcastle city centre. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday December 31, 2013. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

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Performers at the New Year's eve Winter Carnival in Newcastle city centre. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday December 31, 2013. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Performers at the New Year's eve Winter Carnival in Newcastle city centre. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday December 31, 2013. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

PA

A firefighter moves a poster as a fire engine returns to Euston Fire Station at the beginning of a six hour strike, Central London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday December 31, 2013. FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: "Firefighters on duty over the festive period don't have much to celebrate this year and this strike will remind the Government of the service we provide 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, every year of our careers. See PA story INDUSTRY Strike. Photo credit should read: Laura Lean/PA Wire

A firefighter moves a poster as a fire engine returns to Euston Fire Station at the beginning of a six hour strike, Central London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday December 31, 2013. FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: "Firefighters on duty over the festive period don't have much to celebrate this year and this strike will remind the Government of the service we provide 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, every year of our careers. See PA story INDUSTRY Strike. Photo credit should read: Laura Lean/PA Wire

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BEIJING, CHINA - DECEMBER 31:  Chinese folk artists dressed in costume drama wait to take part in a New Year's Eve count down to 2014 at the Badaling Great Wall on December 31, 2013 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

BEIJING, CHINA - DECEMBER 31: Chinese folk artists dressed in costume drama wait to take part in a New Year's Eve count down to 2014 at the Badaling Great Wall on December 31, 2013 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

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BEIJING, CHINA - DECEMBER 31:  Chinese folk artists dressed in costume drama wait to take part in a New Year's Eve count down to 2014 at the Badaling Great Wall on December 31, 2013 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

BEIJING, CHINA - DECEMBER 31: Chinese folk artists dressed in costume drama wait to take part in a New Year's Eve count down to 2014 at the Badaling Great Wall on December 31, 2013 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

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BEIJING, CHINA - DECEMBER 31:  Chinese folk artists dressed in costume drama perform during the New Year's Eve count down to 2014 at the Badaling Great Wall on December 31, 2013 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

BEIJING, CHINA - DECEMBER 31: Chinese folk artists dressed in costume drama perform during the New Year's Eve count down to 2014 at the Badaling Great Wall on December 31, 2013 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

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BEIJING, CHINA - DECEMBER 31:  Chinese folk artists dressed in costume drama perform during the New Year's Eve count down to 2014 at the Badaling Great Wall on December 31, 2013 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

BEIJING, CHINA - DECEMBER 31: Chinese folk artists dressed in costume drama perform during the New Year's Eve count down to 2014 at the Badaling Great Wall on December 31, 2013 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

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BEIJING, CHINA - DECEMBER 31: Chinese people celebrate the New Year during the New Year's Eve count down to 2014 held at the Badaling Great Wall on December 31, 2013 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

BEIJING, CHINA - DECEMBER 31: Chinese people celebrate the New Year during the New Year's Eve count down to 2014 held at the Badaling Great Wall on December 31, 2013 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

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BINTAN ISLAND, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 31: Indonesian military release lanterns into the sky for the 2014 New Year on December 31, 2013 in Bintan Island, Indonesia. A total of 2014 sky lanterns were flown by the Indonesian military. (Photo by Yuli Seperi/Getty Images)

BINTAN ISLAND, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 31: Indonesian military release lanterns into the sky for the 2014 New Year on December 31, 2013 in Bintan Island, Indonesia. A total of 2014 sky lanterns were flown by the Indonesian military. (Photo by Yuli Seperi/Getty Images)

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BINTAN ISLAND, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 31: Indonesian military release lanterns into the sky for the 2014 New Year on December 31, 2013 in Bintan Island, Indonesia. A total of 2014 sky lanterns were flown by the Indonesian military. (Photo by Yuli Seperi/Getty Images)

BINTAN ISLAND, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 31: Indonesian military release lanterns into the sky for the 2014 New Year on December 31, 2013 in Bintan Island, Indonesia. A total of 2014 sky lanterns were flown by the Indonesian military. (Photo by Yuli Seperi/Getty Images)

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BINTAN ISLAND, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 31: Indonesian military release lanterns into the sky for the 2014 New Year on December 31, 2013 in Bintan Island, Indonesia. A total of 2014 sky lanterns were flown by the Indonesian military. (Photo by Yuli Seperi/Getty Images)

BINTAN ISLAND, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 31: Indonesian military release lanterns into the sky for the 2014 New Year on December 31, 2013 in Bintan Island, Indonesia. A total of 2014 sky lanterns were flown by the Indonesian military. (Photo by Yuli Seperi/Getty Images)

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SURABAYA, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 31:  Indonesian Cosplay Community perform on the street to celebrate 2014 New Years on December 31, 2013 in Surabaya, Indonesia. A wave of pyrotechnic displays kicked off New Years celebrations in major cities around the world.  (Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images)

SURABAYA, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 31: Indonesian Cosplay Community perform on the street to celebrate 2014 New Years on December 31, 2013 in Surabaya, Indonesia. A wave of pyrotechnic displays kicked off New Years celebrations in major cities around the world. (Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images)

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SURABAYA, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 31:  Indonesian Reptile Community showcase their pets to celebrate 2014 New Years on December 31, 2013 in Surabaya, Indonesia. A wave of pyrotechnic displays kicked off New Years celebrations in major cities around the world.  (Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images)

SURABAYA, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 31: Indonesian Reptile Community showcase their pets to celebrate 2014 New Years on December 31, 2013 in Surabaya, Indonesia. A wave of pyrotechnic displays kicked off New Years celebrations in major cities around the world. (Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images)

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SURABAYA, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 31:  Indonesian people set up fireworks to celebrate 2014 New Years on December 31, 2013 in Surabaya, Indonesia.  A wave of pyrotechnic displays kicked off New Year celebrations in major cities around the world.  (Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images)

SURABAYA, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 31: Indonesian people set up fireworks to celebrate 2014 New Years on December 31, 2013 in Surabaya, Indonesia. A wave of pyrotechnic displays kicked off New Year celebrations in major cities around the world. (Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images)

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Fireworks explode near the Harbor Bridge and the Opera House during  New Year's Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

Fireworks explode near the Harbor Bridge and the Opera House during New Year's Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31:  Fireworks over Melbourne skyline and Yarra River during New Years Eve fireworks on December 31, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31: Fireworks over Melbourne skyline and Yarra River during New Years Eve fireworks on December 31, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31:  Crowds watch the sun go down for one last time this year before New Years Eve fireworks on December 31, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31: Crowds watch the sun go down for one last time this year before New Years Eve fireworks on December 31, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31:  9.30PM fireworks over The Melbourne Cricket Ground and Yarra River during New Years Eve fireworks on December 31, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31: 9.30PM fireworks over The Melbourne Cricket Ground and Yarra River during New Years Eve fireworks on December 31, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31:  Fireworks over Melbourne skyline and Yarra River during New Years Eve fireworks on December 31, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31: Fireworks over Melbourne skyline and Yarra River during New Years Eve fireworks on December 31, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31:  Fireworks over Melbourne skyline and Yarra River during New Years Eve fireworks on December 31, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31: Fireworks over Melbourne skyline and Yarra River during New Years Eve fireworks on December 31, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31:  New Years revelers watching the fireworks on the Princes Bridge during New Years Eve fireworks on December 31, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31: New Years revelers watching the fireworks on the Princes Bridge during New Years Eve fireworks on December 31, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31:  Huge crowds gather on Princes Bridge during New Years Eve fireworks on December 31, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31: Huge crowds gather on Princes Bridge during New Years Eve fireworks on December 31, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31:  New Years revelers watching the fireworks on the Princes Bridge during New Years Eve fireworks on December 31, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31: New Years revelers watching the fireworks on the Princes Bridge during New Years Eve fireworks on December 31, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31: New Years revelers watching the fireworks on the Princes Bridge during New Years Eve fireworks on December 31, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31: New Years revelers watching the fireworks on the Princes Bridge during New Years Eve fireworks on December 31, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 01:  Fireworks light up the sky from The Sydney Harbour Bridge at midnight during New Years Eve celebrations on Sydney Harbour on 01 January, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Joosep Martinson/Getty Images)

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 01: Fireworks light up the sky from The Sydney Harbour Bridge at midnight during New Years Eve celebrations on Sydney Harbour on 01 January, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Joosep Martinson/Getty Images)

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 01:  Fireworks light up the sky from The Sydney Harbour Bridge at midnight during New Years Eve celebrations on Sydney Harbour on 01 January, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Joosep Martinson/Getty Images)

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 01: Fireworks light up the sky from The Sydney Harbour Bridge at midnight during New Years Eve celebrations on Sydney Harbour on 01 January, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Joosep Martinson/Getty Images)

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 01:  Fireworks light up the sky from The Sydney Harbour Bridge at midnight during New Years Eve celebrations on Sydney Harbour on 01 January, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Joosep Martinson/Getty Images)

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 01: Fireworks light up the sky from The Sydney Harbour Bridge at midnight during New Years Eve celebrations on Sydney Harbour on 01 January, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Joosep Martinson/Getty Images)

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 01:  Fireworks light up the sky from The Sydney Harbour Bridge at midnight during New Years Eve celebrations on Sydney Harbour on 01 January, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Joosep Martinson/Getty Images)

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 01: Fireworks light up the sky from The Sydney Harbour Bridge at midnight during New Years Eve celebrations on Sydney Harbour on 01 January, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Joosep Martinson/Getty Images)

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 01:  Fireworks light up the sky from The Sydney Harbour Bridge at midnight during New Years Eve celebrations on Sydney Harbour on 01 January, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Joosep Martinson/Getty Images)

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 01: Fireworks light up the sky from The Sydney Harbour Bridge at midnight during New Years Eve celebrations on Sydney Harbour on 01 January, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Joosep Martinson/Getty Images)

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 01:  Fireworks light up the sky from The Sydney Harbour Bridge at midnight during New Years Eve celebrations on Sydney Harbour on 01 January, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Joosep Martinson/Getty Images)

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 01: Fireworks light up the sky from The Sydney Harbour Bridge at midnight during New Years Eve celebrations on Sydney Harbour on 01 January, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Joosep Martinson/Getty Images)

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 01:  Fireworks light up the sky from The Sydney Harbour Bridge at midnight during New Years Eve celebrations on Sydney Harbour on 01 January, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Joosep Martinson/Getty Images)

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 01: Fireworks light up the sky from The Sydney Harbour Bridge at midnight during New Years Eve celebrations on Sydney Harbour on 01 January, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Joosep Martinson/Getty Images)

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 01:  Fireworks light up the sky from The Sydney Harbour Bridge at midnight during New Years Eve celebrations on Sydney Harbour on 01 January, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Joosep Martinson/Getty Images)

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 01: Fireworks light up the sky from The Sydney Harbour Bridge at midnight during New Years Eve celebrations on Sydney Harbour on 01 January, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Joosep Martinson/Getty Images)

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31:  New Year's Eve revelers party in Federation Square during New Years Eve on December 31, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31: New Year's Eve revelers party in Federation Square during New Years Eve on December 31, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31:  New Year's Eve revelers party in Federation Square during New Years Eve on December 31, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 31: New Year's Eve revelers party in Federation Square during New Years Eve on December 31, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

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AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 01:  Fireworks are let off from the Auckland Sky Tower to celebrate the new year on January 1, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 01: Fireworks are let off from the Auckland Sky Tower to celebrate the new year on January 1, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)

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AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 01:  Fireworks are let off from the Auckland Sky Tower to celebrate the new year on January 1, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 01: Fireworks are let off from the Auckland Sky Tower to celebrate the new year on January 1, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)

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AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 01:  Fireworks are let off from the Auckland Sky Tower to celebrate the new year on January 1, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 01: Fireworks are let off from the Auckland Sky Tower to celebrate the new year on January 1, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)

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AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 01:  Fireworks are let off from the Auckland Sky Tower to celebrate the new year on January 1, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 01: Fireworks are let off from the Auckland Sky Tower to celebrate the new year on January 1, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)

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AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 01: Firework display from the top of the Sky Tower to welcome the New Year on January 1, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Dave Rowland/Getty Images)

New Zealand has led the New Year celebrations as the country welcomed in 2015 with fireworks.

Millions got things underway across the other side of the globe, entering the New Year in style.

A giant clock in Auckland's Sky Tower counted down the minutes until midnight.

The capital, Wellington, hosted a family-friendly celebration in a park featuring orchestral music and movie clips and culminating in a fireworks display.

Sydney takes pride in being one of the first major cities in the world to welcome each new year, and it plans to greet 2015 in its trademark glittery fashion - with a tropical-style fireworks display featuring shimmering gold and silver palm tree pyrotechnic effects.

More than 1.5 million people are expected to crowd along the shores of the city's famed harbour to watch the vivid eruption of light over the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and other points along the water.

The festivities, however, come just two weeks after an Iranian-born, self-styled cleric took 18 people hostage inside a downtown cafe.

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A tribute to two hostages killed in the siege will be displayed on the pylons of the Harbour Bridge during the fireworks display, and an extra 3,000 police officers will be patrolling the city. Still, residents are being encouraged to celebrate as usual.

New York will drop its Waterford crystal ball at midnight, in a tradition being increasingly copied across the United States with twists celebrating local icons.

In Miami, a 35ft neon orange will light up, while Atlanta and Nashville, Tennessee, will drop a peach and a musical note, respectively.

Closer to home, bars and restaurants are gearing up right across Northern Ireland to celebrate - with thousands set to get dressed up for 2015.

Elsewhere, police have warned party goers to avoid large swathes of central London on Thursday night unless they have a ticket to the New Year’s Eve celebrations.

The warning from the Metropolitan Police came as a massive operation got underway to ensure the capital is ready for its first ticketed fireworks display to see in the New Year.

Traditionally the yearly event has been free to the public, but controversially this year’s display is a ticket-only event following fears of over-crowding in recent years.

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