Celebrations worldwide amid tight security

NEW YORK: Confetti raining down on revellers a few hours before midnight in Times Square. Nearly a million people were there to usher in 2017. TOKYO: People offering prayers on the first day of the new year at Meiji Shrine yesterday. On New Year's Ev
RIO DE JANEIRO: Revellers packing Copacabana beach to ring in the new year and enjoy a spectacular fireworks display.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
NEW YORK: Confetti raining down on revellers a few hours before midnight in Times Square. Nearly a million people were there to usher in 2017. TOKYO: People offering prayers on the first day of the new year at Meiji Shrine yesterday. On New Year's Ev
NEW YORK: Confetti raining down on revellers a few hours before midnight in Times Square. Nearly a million people were there to usher in 2017.PHOTO: NYTIMES
NEW YORK: Confetti raining down on revellers a few hours before midnight in Times Square. Nearly a million people were there to usher in 2017. TOKYO: People offering prayers on the first day of the new year at Meiji Shrine yesterday. On New Year's Ev
COLOGNE: A light installation by German artist Philipp Geist setting the tone for celebrations in front of a cathedral on New Year's Eve.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
NEW YORK: Confetti raining down on revellers a few hours before midnight in Times Square. Nearly a million people were there to usher in 2017. TOKYO: People offering prayers on the first day of the new year at Meiji Shrine yesterday. On New Year's Ev
TOKYO: People offering prayers on the first day of the new year at Meiji Shrine yesterday. On New Year's Eve, thousands packed the streets to release balloons into the air.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK • Nearly a million people packed into Times Square in New York amid tight security to usher in the new year.

When the traditional ball dropped at the Big Apple's iconic crossroads, revellers screamed with glee and couples kissed as fireworks lit up the sky and the voice of Frank Sinatra singing New York, New York rang out.

Out west, tens of thousands gathered at Grand Park in Los Angeles to enjoy live music and a 3D light show, as well as look at inflatable sculptures.

Following truck massacres in Berlin, Germany, last month and in Nice, France, in July, New York deployed about 7,000 police officers, and used dozens of garbage trucks to form a protective barrier to prevent similar attacks at the festivities.

Elsewhere, Sydney kicked off celebrations attended by about 1.5 million people with a spectacular fireworks display that lit up its harbour. And in Hong Kong, crowds flocked to the waterfront to watch fireworks explode over Victoria Harbour. In Tokyo, thousands packed the streets to release balloons into the air.

Celebrations swung into Europe with the night sky over Moscow's Red Square literally painted red by fireworks.

Around half a million people thronged Paris' famous Champs- Elysees, where they counted down to 2017 with a colourful display on the Arc de Triomphe.

In London, more than 100,000 people lined the banks of the River Thames to watch a 12-minute fireworks display set to music by David Bowie and Prince.

Revellers everywhere had to contend with reinforced security measures. There were about 2,000 extra officers in Sydney after a man was arrested for allegedly making online threats against the celebrations.

Following the deadly attack on a Berlin Christmas market on Dec 19, the German capital beefed up security, deploying extra police officers, some armed with machine guns.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 02, 2017, with the headline 'Celebrations worldwide amid tight security'. Print Edition | Subscribe