New Year Welcomed Around the World with Fireworks, Food and Prayers
Albanian Daily News
Published December 31, 2017
Fireworks in Auckland, New Zealand. Photograph: Dave Rowland/Getty ImagesFireworks lit up the sky above Sydney harbour for the city’s new year celebrations, where an extravagant display included a rainbow waterfall cascade of lights and colour to celebrate recent legislation legalising gay marriage in Australia.
Security at the event was tight, but officials said there was no particular alert. Nearly half of those attending the celebrations were tourists.
In New Zealand, tens of thousands of people took to the streets and beaches, becoming among the first in the world to usher in 2018.
Fireworks boomed and crackled above city centres and harbours, and partygoers sang, hugged, danced and kissed. In Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city, tens of thousands gathered around Sky tower as five minutes of nonstop pyrotechnics exploded from the top of the structure.
But on nearby Waiheke Island, 20 miles away, authorities cancelled a planned fireworks display because of drought conditions and low water supplies for firefighters.
In Singapore, people huddled under umbrellas to watch the fireworks light up the Marina Bay. Planned outdoor dance workouts and yoga reportedly had to be cancelled, but some still braved the weather to see in the new year.
Many Japanese people were celebrating the arrival of the Year of the Dog by praying for peace and good fortune at Shinto shrines, and eating traditional new year food such as noodles, shrimp and sweet black beans.
Barbecued beef and octopus dumpling stalls were set out at Tokyo’s Zojoji temple, where people take turns striking the giant bell 108 times at midnight, an annual practice repeated at other Buddhist temples throughout Japan.
In South Korea, thousands of people were expected to fill the streets near Seoul’s City Hall for a traditional bell-tolling ceremony to usher in the new year. The group of dignitaries picked to ring the old Bosingak bell at midnight included Soohorang and Bandabi – the tiger and bear mascots for the Pyeongchang Winter Games and Paralympics in February and March.
(Source: The Guardian)