By Jade Walker
After a turbulent year marred by terror woes, Ebola outbreaks and a horrific series of airline disasters, many could be forgiven for saying good riddance to 2014 and gratefully ringing in a new year.
Across the globe, revelers looking for a respite from the gloom will converge on the beaches of Brazil, the shores of Sydney harbor and the potentially snowy streets of Las Vegas (yes, really) to welcome 2015. Here’s a look at how the world is celebrating: ___
FIRST UP: DOWN UNDER
Sydney takes pride in being one of the first major cities in the world to welcome each new year, and it plans to greet 2015 in its trademark glittery fashion — with a tropical-style fireworks display featuring shimmering gold and silver palm tree pyrotechnic effects.
More than 1.5 million revelers crowded along the shores of the city’s famed harbor in warm summer weather to watch the vivid eruption of light over the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and other points along the water.
Three hours before midnight, a 9-minute firework display was launched from the bridge deck and barges across the harbor as a preliminary event for young children. The appreciative crowd cheered as 7 tons of fireworks exploded, including 11,000 shells, 25,000 shooting comets and more than 100,000 individual pyrotechnic effects.
The festivities, however, come just two weeks after an Iranian-born self-styled cleric took 18 people hostage inside a downtown cafe. A tribute to two hostages killed in the siege was to be displayed on the pylons of the Harbour Bridge during the main fireworks display, and an extra 3,000 police officers were patrolling the city. Still, Sydneysiders were encouraged to celebrate as usual.
In New Zealand, a giant clock on Auckland’s landmark Sky Tower structure counted down the minutes until the New Year, with a huge fireworks display launching from the tower at midnight.
PRAYERS IN JAKARTA
The loss of AirAsia Flight 8501 and a deadly landslide in Central Java are recent tragedies that have muted celebration plans in the Indonesian capital Jakarta. City Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama said the city would conduct prayers for the victims of the tragedies as well as host the annual Jakarta Night Festival.
Other Indonesian cities have opted to cancel or tone down their celebrations. Surabaya’s Mayor Tri Rismaharini banned any kind of New Year entertainment in Indonesia’s second-largest city, where most of the 162 people on the AirAsia flight that crashed Sunday were from.
GUN HAPPY PHILIPPINE POLICE WARNED
Acting National Police Chief Leonardo Espina has warned that police in the Philippines who fire their guns during normally raucous celebrations will lose their jobs. Thunderous fireworks and gunfire normally leave communities shrouded in smog and gun smoke, and result in hundreds of injuries every year, including even deaths, some due to stray bullets. Since the New Year celebration began Dec. 21 more than 160 people have been injured.
BIDDING WITH THE CHINESE AND SHOPPING WITH THE JAPANESE
Beijing will count down the New Year at an event in the Olympic Park designed to highlight the capital’s bid to host the 2022 Winter …read more
Source: More Celeb News1