Global new year celebrations kick off in New Zealand

Last updated at 13:57
View of the "Midnight Fireworks" above the Sydney Opera HouseEPA
The Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia, was the centrepiece of the city's new year fireworks

People across the globe are gathering to welcome in the new year, with New Zealand and Australia leading the celebrations.

A giant clock in Auckland's Sky Tower counted down the minutes until midnight (11.00am British time), when fireworks erupted.

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Fireworks welcome 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand

Nearly 1.5 million people lined the shores of Sydney harbour in preparation for the city's famous firework display.

In Brazil, more than one million people will join the crowds on Rio de Janeiro's famous Copacabana beach, while Americans will watch the crystal ball lower as new year arrives over Times Square in New York City.

Students form "2015" standing on snow to welcome the upcoming New Year at Shenyang Agriculture University in Shenyang, Liaoning province, 31 December 2014.Reuters
Students at China's Shenyang Agriculture University found their own way of marking the start of 2015
Onlookers write and post their New Year wishes on a wishing wall display at a mall in Quezon city, metro Manila 31 December 2014.Reuters
A wishing wall is on display in the Philippines capital, Manila. Around 50,000 posted wishes will be used as confetti alongside fireworks to welcome the new year
Shinto priests walk through a wooden tore gate after concluding an yearend ritual in preparation for the New Year at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, Japan, 31 December 2014.EPA
Priests hold an end of year ceremony at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, Japan. More than 3 million people are expected to visit the shrine to pray for health and prosperity in 2015