Watch again: New Year's Eve celebrations across the world as 2021 brings a new dawn

A small group of people look across from the embankment towards the London Eye ferris wheel by the River Thames in London as the New Year starts in London, Friday, Jan 1, 2021
A small group of people look across from the embankment towards the London Eye ferris wheel by the River Thames in London as the New Year starts in London, Friday, Jan 1, 2021 Copyright Matt Dunham/AP
By Euronews
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Happy 2021 from all of us at Euronews. Here's how the turning of the year went down across the globe.


After perhaps the strangest year in our collective lives, people all across the globe have celebrated the New Year, hoping that 2021 will bring back some semblance of normality.

We kept an eye on the celebrations, starting with fireworks in New Zealand, before heading to their Oceanic neighbours, Australia, where Sydney Harbour was lit up in time-honoured fashion. From there to Asia, the Gulf, and finally Europe.

Happy New Year from all of us at Euronews.

New Zealand

New Zealand was one of the first countries to ring in 2021 with a show packing 500kg of fireworks.

Celebrations on the island nation will resemble more closely the normality of years gone than in most other places as the country is currently free of any confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Recently re-elected Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's government has introduced a strict quarantine policy for those entering the country to try and avoid any new instances of the virus entering New Zealand.


Sydney was next in line for the new year festivities and the firework display over the city's harbour, which is known the world over for being one to watch, didn't disappoint.

Rockets shot out of the famous sails of the Opera House and fountains of rainbow-coloured sparks lit up the sky above the water.

But there weren't the scenes of revellers embracing as we saw in Auckland - Sydney's new year fireworks display was crowd-free.

A fresh outbreak of COVID-19 has seen the 1 million Sydney residents who usually pack the area around the harbour forced to watch the spectacle on television.


Following on from Oceana, Taiwan was one of the first countries in Asia to go into 2021 and the country did so with a firework extravaganza in Taipei with the theme of "love".

A total of 16,000 fireworks were used during the five-minute display, which saw red and blue hearts included to pay tribute to medical personnel around the world for their efforts in combatting COVID-19.


More than 25,000 fireworks lit up the skies over the Thai capital Bangkok as the clock struck midnight, fired from boats on the Chao Phraya River which snakes through the city.

The display was set to live music by the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra and synced with messages of hope on a giant digital screen. The theme of the display was optimism for the future; for Thailand, and the wider world.

As with Sydney, all mass gatherings in Thailand have been banned, including New Year's Eve countdown parties with the exception of this year's fireworks display.


Masked crowds gathered along the Jumeirah beach and around downtown Dubai to watch the fireworks display the emirate's most famous landmark, the Burj Khalifa - the world's tallest building.

Fireworks shot out of the side and circled around the skyscraper as a light show lit up the building itself.

As the clock ticked down to midnight in the Middle East, the Burj Khalifa had displayed the flags of countries celebrating the New Year before the UAE, including India and Pakistan.


Across the six emirates, 33 fireworks displays are taking place to mark the arrival of 2021, including at the Al Majaz waterfront and 8,500kg of fireworks which lit up Ras Al Khaimah.


Due to its expansive size split over 11 time zones, millions in Russia had already celebrated New Year by the time the clock chimed midnight in a foggy Moscow.

Much of the subdued display was obscured by dense cloud hanging over the city's Red Square, empty of revellers this year except for security and technicians because of local pandemic restrictions. The vast central square, with the onion domes of iconic St Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin, is the traditional focus of New Year celebrations in the Russian capital.

And as the New Year moved into Western Europe, Brandenburg Gate was lit up despite no celebrations in the Berlin. And further west, the spectacle of Brexit coincided with the Western continental New Year. At 11 pm in London (midnight CET), Big Ben chimed to signal the end of the transition period.


Big Ben was the focus once again, an hour after the Brexit chime, as the UK saw in the new year, but sadly, much like Berlin, with no official fireworks. Although some private rockets could be heard in the night sky, the focus was on the famous clock tower, which is still cloaked in scaffolding.


As the New Year makes its way across the Atlantic, we bid you a good night and a very happy new year.

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