Fireworks explode above the pyramids during New Year's day celebrations on the outskirts of Cairo - REUTERS Fireworks explode above the pyramids during New Year's day celebrations on the outskirts of Cairo - REUTERS

In Pictures: World welcomes 2018 with fireworks, security

Mon, Jan. 1, 2018
CAIRO – 1 January 2018: Millions gathered around the world late Sunday to welcome 2018 with spectacular fireworks and, at the same time, various security measures.

New Zealand was the first country to bid farewell to 2017 and welcome in 2018, followed by Australia; and then the celebrations gradually moved from Asia to the Middle East, Africa, and Europe, and then finally to the Americas, amid spectacular displays of light.

In Egypt, Cairo witnessed amazing celebrations on the occasion of New Year's Day 2018, where thousands of families and youth went out to celebrate the occasion in the main streets in an atmosphere of joy, fireworks and cruise ships.

Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar called on security officials to raise the security alert to the maximum level across the country and intensified the security presence near the churches and main squares, erected barriers around the churches, and operated electronic gates to detect explosives and weapons.

In Indonesia, hundreds of Indonesian couples celebrated marriage in Jakarta on New Year's Eve at a free mass wedding party, according to Reuters.

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Muhammad Nasir, 64, and his 65-year-old wife Aminah, who only goes by one name, have been married since 1968 -- but only according to Islamic law due to financial reasons – AFP

The event, attended by 500 couples, was organized by the authorities, while festivals and popular markets were organized on major traffic arteries and in tourist spots.

Australia welcomed the New Year with a spectacular display of fireworks over the famous Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Opera House, the Mirror newspaper reported.

Australia
Fireworks light up the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House during New Year celebrations on Sydney Harbour, Australia, January 1, 2018. REUTERS


Despite the freezing weather, which hit 10 degrees Celsius below zero, the New York state authorities expected about two million people to attend New Year's Eve in Times Square on Sunday.

The New York authorities said that the security measures would be too tight to ensure the safety of revellers. New York City Mayor Bill de Palazzo said at a press conference, "The New Year's celebration as an annual event is one of the things that connect New York to people across the United States and the world.”

USA
Revellers stay warm in Times Square as they prepare for New Year's Eve celebrations on December 31, 2017 in New York City. – AFP

The beginning of the New Year in Times Square has been a tradition for 110 years, with the participation of crowds from within the United States and tourists from all over the globe, according to alwatanvoice news.

India welcomed 2018 in their own way of dancing performances and a festive atmosphere, as well as fireworks that decorated the sky of Mumbai.

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People cheer as they release balloons during New Year celebrations outside a church in Ahmadabad, India, January 1, 2018. REUTERS/Amit Dave

British police also stepped up their deployment in all areas and public squares ahead of the New Year celebrations, and police patrols were deployed in Trafalgar Square, as well as in crowded areas around Westminster.

Britain
Thousands of Muslims gather in Trafalgar Square in London to celebrate Eid Al Fitr. Britain has one of the largest Muslim communities living in a non-Muslim country. Luke MacGregor / Reuters

The intensification of security in the United Kingdom came to avoid any terrorist attacks during the celebration.

The Lebanese capital Beirut prepared to welcome the New Year 2018 amid tight security. Al-Najma Square witnessed large celebrations in which a number of artists took part in the fireworks show, as well as entertainment concerts sponsored by Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

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People watch fireworks in the rain on New Year's Day in downtown Beirut, Lebanon January 1, 2018. Photo: Reuters


The Lebanese internal security department said in a statement that it had increased the preparations in its sectors to 100% and increased the presence of its elements on public roads to maintain the security of the citizens and to ensure their convenience and facilitate traffic, especially in front of houses of worship, restaurants and nightclubs.

The tragic anniversary of the celebrations of 2017 still dominates Turkey after an armed man stormed the famous Rena Club in Istanbul, killing 39 people and injuring 79. Turkish authorities decided to ban gatherings in Istanbul's famous Taksim Square and other districts.
 
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