The arrival of 2008 has already been celebrated in the southern hemisphere. Auckland in New Zealand, the first major city in the world to welcome the New Year, has marked the event with a big fireworks display. The fireworks were launched from the Skytower in the centre of the city.
Auckland is 496 kilometres west of the international dateline, 12 hours ahead of Central Europe.
Another New Zealand city, Gisborne, on the east coast, will in fact be the first in the world to see the first sunrise of 2008. Gisborne was hit by a 6.8 magnitude earthquake just 11 days ago, causing some damage.