In Britain, tens of thousands of people watched a spectacular fireworks display at the stroke of midnight by the London Eye. Images of the year’s sporting heros, including Andrew Flintoff and Dame Ellen McArthur, were projected on to buildings along the banks of the River Thames.
In Berlin, crowds gathered under the world-famous Brandenburg Gate to welcome in the New Year. Temperatures well below freezing did nothing to dampen the spirits as partygoers saw in 2006 – the year Germany will host the World Cup – with a football-themed fireworks display. In Madrid, the traditional 12 grapes were downed to the chimes of the clock in the Puerta del Sol, Gateway to the Sun – the central square in the Spanish capital. And in Rimini in Italy one of several concerts nationwide provided the soundtrack for celebrations.