New Zealanders were amongst the first in the world to usher in 2015, with a giant clock on Auckland’s landmark Sky Tower counting down the minutes until the New Year.
After a turbulent year marred by terror woes, Ebola outbreaks and a horrific series of airline disasters, many could be forgiven for saying good riddance to 2014 and gratefully ringing in a new year.
Firework celebrations around the worldAcross the globe, revelers looking for a respite from the gloom converged on the beaches of Brazil, the shores of Sydney harbor and New York's Times Square to welcome 2015. A look at how the world is celebrating.
A huge fireworks display was then launched from the top of the tower at midnight(1100GMT).
Meanwhile, the capital, Wellington, hosted a family-friendly celebration in a park, featuring orchestral music and iconic movie clips, culminating in a fireworks display.
Sydney was one of the first major cities in the world to welcome in the new year with a tropical-style fireworks display featuring shimmering gold and silver palm tree pyrotechnic effects.
More than 1.5 million revellers crowded along the shores of the city’s famed harbour in warm summer weather to watch the vivid eruption of light over the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and other points along the water.
The appreciative crowd cheered as seven tons of fireworks exploded, including 11,000 shells, 25,000 shooting comets and more than 100,000 individual pyrotechnic effects.
The festivities, however, come just two weeks after an Iranian-born self-styled cleric took 18 people hostage inside a downtown cafe.
A tribute to two hostages killed in the siege was displayed on the pylons of the Harbour Bridge during the main fireworks display, and an extra 3,000 police officers were patrolling the city.
Still, Sydneysiders were encouraged to celebrate as usual.
Residents of Pyongyang were treated to a grand display of fireworks at midnight as part of North Korea’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.
North Korea had its first grand New Year’s Eve celebration in Pyongyang three years ago, after Kim Jong Un came to power following his father’s death.
Hong Kong saw in 2015 in spectacular fashion at midnight, with the traditional pyrotechnics show over Victoria Harbour.
The waterfront was crowded with spectators who craned their necks to watch the eight minute display over the iconic Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Story compiled with information from The Associated Press and Reuters.