2019 has started – all around the Globe

A reveler celebrates as confetti falls during a New Year's celebration in New York's Times Square, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

2019 has started – all around the Globe

More than 12 hours before Norway, 2019 was welcomed in the farthest east of Gaia. First out to celebrate was Samoa and Kiribati. Last out was the Westernmost parts of the USA.


At 11 am Norwegian (CET) time, the fireworks were sent up from the tiny island states in the South Pacific. the celebration was, however,  somewhat subdued on Kiribati, one of several Pacific nations threatened by the consequences of global warming.

An hour later it was New Zealand’s turn, along with Fiji and Tonga, to say goodbye to 2018. In New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, tens of thousands of people had gathered around the 328-metre-tall Sky Tower to watch the fireworks sent out from the summit of the tower.

Sydney is renowned for its New Year fireworks and didn’t disappoint this time around, either. At least 1 million people gathered to watch 8.5 tonnes of fireworks going up in smoke.

Weddings, fireworks and temple visits

In Japan, the new year was welcomed at 4 pm Central European Time. True to tradition, a visit to a temple was on the menu of many.

In Indonesia’s capital of Jakarta, more than 500 couples tied the knot during a mass wedding, but fireworks displays were cancelled out of respect to the victims of last week’s tsunami.

The New Year’s celebration moved step by step from east to west in according to the rotation of Tellus. Moscow slotted in at 10 pm Norwegian time, and an hour later there were fireworks over Athens, despite a downpour.

In Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates, the authorities attempted to set a world record with a twelve minute long series of spectacular fireworks.

In Paris, thousands of people gathered to attend the traditional fireworks and lights display at the Champs Elysees, and in Berlin people met up in droves for fireworks and a concert featuring the wee Scottish lass, Bonnie Tyler (among others), at the Brandenburger Gate.

Confetti in the rain

After Europe and Africa followed North and Latin America, where the most renowned celebration took place on Times Square, New York City. About one million spectators defied the cold and wet weather to look at the crystal ball lowered during the countdown before the confetti rain started and the fireworks lit up the sky above.

Last, and maybe least, came the three American Islands of Wake, Howland and Baker Island, located in the Pacific Ocean, close by the dateline. The two latter islands are uninhabited, so there will most likely no fireworks to see when the islands enter into 2019 at 1 pm CET. At that moment in time, Samoa and Kiribati are already two hours into January 2nd.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today
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