New Year’s Eve celebrations: World welcomes 2018

The New Year has officially begun in much of the world, with cities around the globe celebrating the start of 2018 beginning with the Pacific Ocean nations of Samoa, Tonga and Christmas Island/Kiribati.

The last places on Earth to see in the New Year are minor outlying US islands like Baker Island and Howland Island – although these are uninhabited. The last inhabited island is American Samoa which will welcome 2018 when it’s 11am in London on January 1. 

In the UK, Storm Dylan brought a wet and windy end to the year, with howling gales in excess of 70mph hitting parts of Ireland and Wales and squally rain bearing down on the UK mainland. Forecasters have warned of severe gusts of up to 80mph. 

Across the pond, New Yorkers have been told to prepare for one of the coldest New Year celebrations on record.

Revellers have been urged to bring handwarmers, wrap up warm and avoid alcohol as they flock to Times Square, which is due to hit a frosty 11 Celsius, which would tie for second place with 1962. The coldest ever recorded New Year’s Eve at Times Square was in 1917, when it was -17 Celsius at midnight. 

Drinking alcohol is warned against because it causes body temperature to drop faster. Partygoers have been told to cover all exposed skin.

It is finally the UK’s turn to welcome in 2018 and London does it in usual style with a massive fireworks display over the Thames in front of the Houses of Parliament.

Hundreds of thousands took to the streets to watch dazzling fireworks and join lively celebrations across the UK.

Crowds swamped the banks of the River Thames in London for the 12-minute display after Big Ben’s bongs rung out across the capital at midnight, having been turned back on for the festive period.

More than 100,000 ticket-holders watched London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks, which featured a soundtrack dominated by women to mark the centenary of women being granted the vote.

Songs by Aretha Franklin, Annie Lennox, Ariana Grande, Dua Lipa and Florence Welch were among those included in the women-only second half of the world-famous show.

More than 10,000 fireworks lit up the capital’s sky during that sold-out event, prompting huge cheers from the lively crowd.

Scotland Yard confirmed fewer Metropolitan Police officers were working during this year’s celebration, but security at the event appeared tight, with armed police on patrol and security barriers erected.

The huge event took place at the end of the year which saw London hit by four terror…

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