Published: Mon, January 01, 2018
Culture | By Wayne Carr

New Year's Eve celebrations kick off as world welcomes in 2018

New Year's Eve celebrations kick off as world welcomes in 2018

Samoa, the tiny pacific island was the first country to welcome in 2018, with New Zealand following an hour later.

Fireworks lit up the sky above Sydney Harbour a few hours before midnight Sunday, kicking off the city's New Year's celebrations. In the meantime, Japan's Buddhist temples will have celebrated the new year striking their gong 108 times at midnight, in an effort to expel 108 types of human weakness and prepare for new beginnings.

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Australia celebrates New Year with fire-works. As one of the first countries to welcome the New Year, thousands of cheering revellers rang in the New Year at 11 am United Kingdom time today as multi-coloured fireworks exploded across the city skyline at midnight.

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Fireworks explode near the Sydney Opera House as part of new year celebrations on Sydney Harbour, Australia, December 31, 2017.

For those living in Israel, the new year is still hours ahead at the time of writing. At least 1.5 million spectators were expected to witness the pyrotechnics, AFP reported.

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New year celebrations have started around the world. Barbecued beef and octopus dumpling stalls were out at Tokyo's Zojoji Temple, where people take turns striking the giant bell 108 times at midnight, an annual practice repeated at other Buddhist temples throughout Japan.North Korea's nuclear and missile programs cast a shadow over Japan's hopes for peace, said 33-year-old cab driver Masaru Eguchi, who was ready to be busy all night shuttling shrine visitors."The world situation has grown so complex", Eguchi said, adding that he also anxious about possible terrorism targeting Japan.

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