New Year’s Eve 2019: celebrations around the world – live news

 

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “New Year’s Eve 2019: celebrations around the world – as it happened” was written by Frances Perraudin , Ben Quinn , Seth Jacobson , Charlotte Simmonds (all earlier) and Martin Farrer (now), for theguardian.com on Wednesday 1st January 2020 07.28 UTC

7.28am GMT

Having mentioned how much confetti was strewn around Times Square, it seems only fair to recap some of the other celebrations around the world in numbers.

In Rio, around 3 million people welcomed 2020 at the famous Copacabana beach where 15 tonnes of colorful fireworks were set off for nearly 15 minutes after midnight.

A man watches fireworks exploding over Copacabana beach.
A man watches fireworks exploding over Copacabana beach.
Photograph: Bruna Prado/AP

In Paris, large crowds gathered to watch a light show at the Arc de Triomphe followed by a fireworks display at midnight. But the interesting number in the French capital was that Tuesday marked the 27th consecutive day of transport strikes against president Emmanuel Macron’s plans to overhaul the French pension system. All metro lines in the French capital were closed except for two automatic lines, and only a few night buses were running.

Thousands welcome the New Year in Paris.
Thousands welcome the New Year in Paris.
Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The world’s tallest building, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, was lit up by a spectacular firework display. All 828 metres (2,716feet).

Fireworks go off at the Burj Khalifa.
Fireworks go off at the Burj Khalifa.
Photograph: WIN-Initiative/Getty Images

6.39am GMT

It’s now 2020 in another chunk of the USA, with Central Time now well past midnight.

They’re having a party in Nashville where Stevie Nicks and Keith Urban have been performing Secondhand News together. Jason Isbell, one of Music City’s finest, has been up there too.

Not everyone is enjoying it though, with some on Twitter appearing to call for the CNN event to be moved back to New Orleans where presenters Don Lemon and Brooke Baldwin have been based in previous years.

Updated at 6.39am GMT

5.49am GMT

About 1,360kg (3,000lb) of confetti has been showered on Times Square tonight where revellers also had to contend with some rain earlier in the evening.

Headline act Post Malone had some difficulties as well when he fell off the stage and had to be hauled up by security staff.

Post Malone falls off the stage at the Times Square.
Post Malone falls off the stage at the Times Square.
Photograph: Ben Hider/Invision/AP

He seemed to recover his poise and see the funny side though.

Post Malone and Ryan Seacrest.
Post Malone and presenter Ryan Seacrest.
Photograph: Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Dick Clark Productions

One member of the crowd, Mariemma Mejias, 48, told AP that she had flown to New York from Puerto Rico to join the party.

“It was a dream, I wanted to do it so this year … a lot of people helped me to get here so I’m here, and I’m thankful for that,” she said.

Updated at 5.55am GMT

5.18am GMT

Here are some pics from the party.

Confetti drops over the crowd as the clock strikes midnight.
Confetti drops over the crowd as the clock strikes midnight.
Photograph: Frank Franklin II/AP
Celebrations in Time Square.
Celebrations in Times Square.
Photograph: Jeff Neira/ABC via Getty Images

Updated at 5.45am GMT

5.12am GMT

A little earlier, the Korea boyband BTS were one of the main acts in Times Square in what they’re officially calling Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2020 (snappy title that). You might say that’s proof that K-pop has conquered the world. Post Malone was the headline act just before midnight.

BTS on stage.
BTS on stage.
Photograph: Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Dick Clark Productions

Updated at 5.45am GMT

5.03am GMT

First we had a cheesy version of Auld Lang Syne and now Frank Sinatra croons New York, New York to the delighted crowds…

Revelers celebrate New Year’s Eve in New York.
Revelers celebrate New Year’s Eve in New York.
Photograph: Amr Alfiky/Reuters

5.00am GMT

Happy new year, USA

Joyous scenes in Times Square, New York as the clock hits midnight.

Updated at 5.46am GMT

4.40am GMT

It’s already 2020 in South America where celebrations are well under way in cities such as Rio de Janeiro where fireworks have lit up Copacabana beach.

In the Chilean capital of Santiago, people have combined anti-government protests with ringing in the new year in Plaza Italia. There have been weeks of protests in the city.

Fireworks explode over Copacabana Beach during the celebrations in Rio de Janeiro.
Fireworks explode over Copacabana Beach during the celebrations in Rio de Janeiro.
Photograph: Bruna Prado/AP
Friends take a dip at Copacabana.
Friends take a dip at Copacabana.
Photograph: Daniel Ramalho/AFP via Getty Images
A new year protest against Chile’s government in Santiago.
A new year protest against Chile’s government in Santiago.
Photograph: Pablo Sanhueza/Reuters

Updated at 4.44am GMT

3.55am GMT

There’s about 75 minutes to go before the clock ticks past midnight in Times Square in New York and the celebrations are already in full swing with music from, inter alia, Alanis Morissette and Sam Hunt. There’s also a big party going on in Los Angeles where there’s music from Dua Lipa and Dand and Shay.

Alanis Morissette perform in New York.
Alanis Morissette performs in New York.
Photograph: REX/Shutterstock
Sam Hunt.
Sam Hunt.
Photograph: REX/Shutterstock
Dua Lipa on stage in Los Angeles, California.
Dua Lipa on stage in Los Angeles, California.
Photograph: Alberto E Rodríguez/Getty Images for dick clark productions

Updated at 5.46am GMT

3.48am GMT

And in case you missed it, Mariah Carey’s Twitter account was hacked this New Year’s Eve.

The Guardian’s Andre Wheeler writes:

Carey’s Twitter account shared numerous racist slurs and comments with the singer’s 21.4 million followers on the platform.

It’s unclear who’s behind the hack, and the pop star did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Most of the tweets published on Tuesday afternoon were quickly deleted. Many verged on the nonsensical and appeared to troll the singer’s fans.

The hack comes at an interesting time. Carey has become a renewed focal point of pop culture in recent weeks, through her record-breaking achievements on the Billboard Chart.

The singer’s modern classic All I Want For Christmas hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time this month – 25 years after its original release. And on Monday, Billboard announced Carey is projected to become the first artist to have number-one hits in four consecutive decades, when All I Want For Christmas tops the 4 January 2020 Hot 100 list.

“What’s a decade?” the singer jokingly tweeted after the news broke, when she was allegedly still in control of her account.

Read Andre’s full story here.

3.04am GMT

2.46am GMT

Earlier this evening, Pope Francis delighted tourists and local residents in Rome when he took a stroll to admire the Nativity scene on St. Peter’s Square. Shouts of “Pope! Pope!” and “Happy New Year!” resounded as families rushed to catch a glimpse of him or thrust out their infant in hopes he would pat their heads or pinch their cheeks, the AP reports.

One woman grabbed the pope’s hand and pulled him toward her to shake it. Francis, 83, exclaimed and then struck the woman’s hand twice to free his hand.

At a New Year’s Eve Vespers service in St. Peter’s Basilica, Francis urged people to practice more solidarity and to “build bridges, not walls.”

Pope Francis visits the Nativity scene at Saint Peter’s Square
Pope Francis visits the Nativity scene at Saint Peter’s Square
Photograph: Andreas Solaro/AFP via Getty Images

2.03am GMT

Fireworks light up in the fog in front of the Atomium Monument in Brussels, Belgium
Fireworks light up in the fog in front of the Atomium Monument in Brussels, Belgium
Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/EPA

1.51am GMT

Security officers in New York were on high alert on Tuesday evening, as revelers arrived to celebrate the new year in Manhattan’s Times Square.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said spectators should feel safe but encouraged them to remain vigilant and alert officers if they feel something is amiss.

Law enforcers were monitoring the situation with more than 1,000 security cameras, police helicopters and drones.

Several of the NYPD’s drones are equipped with thermal-imaging and 3D-mapping capabilities and strong camera lenses that can greatly magnify a subject.

Streets in and around Times Square were closed to car traffic hours before the ball drop and police cars and sand-filled sanitation trucks were positioned to stop vehicles from driving into the crowd.

New York Police Department (NYPD) officers secure Times Square during the New Year’s Eve celebrations
New York Police Department (NYPD) officers secure Times Square during the New Year’s Eve celebrations
Photograph: Jeenah Moon/Reuters

1.32am GMT

Preparations are in full swing in New York City’s famous Times Square, where thousands are expected to gather to count down the final moments of 2019.

The city has been on edge this week following a string of attacks during Hanukah, but Tuesday celebrations may offer some relief. The AP reports:

A Chinese dance performance, punctuated with red and gold pyrotechnics, will usher in a host of stars at Times Squares six-hour New Years Eve extravaganza.

The throng of revelers in the heart of Manhattan will get to see rap-pop star Post Malone, K-pop group BTS, country singer Sam Hunt and singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette during the big street party.

While giddiness will likely prevail at the televised event, some important global issues will be driven home, as well.

High school science teachers and students, spotlighting efforts to combat climate change, will press the button that begins the famous 60-second ball drop and countdown to next year.

Then comes the 3,000lb (1,360 kilograms) of confetti, accompanied by more pyrotechnics.

A reveller in New York wears 2020 glasses.
A reveller in New York wears 2020 glasses.
Photograph: Jeenah Moon/Reuters
NYPD officers gather.
NYPD officers gather.
Photograph: Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images
A man from Thailand waits the party to start.
A man from Thailand waits the party to start.
Photograph: Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images
NYPD officers patrol before the New Years eve celebration.
NYPD officers patrol before the New Years eve celebration.
Photograph: Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images
Revellers play Kendama while they are waiting.
Revellers play Kendama while they are waiting.
Photograph: Jeenah Moon/Reuters

1.04am GMT

The Associated Press reports from Paris:

A joyful crowd of Parisians and tourists walked, biked and used scooters to reach the Champs-Elysees for the new year celebrations, in a city with almost no public transport amid massive strikes.

Revelers converged at the famous avenue to watch a light show at the Arc de Triomphe, followed by a fireworks display at midnight. Paris police set up a security perimeter around the Champs-Elysees area with a ban on alcohol and traffic restrictions.

All metro lines in the French capital were closed except for two automatic lines, and only a few night buses were running, as Tuesday marked the 27th consecutive day of transport strikes against President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to overhaul the French pension system.

12.50am GMT

Fireworks fall across the London skyline during New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Fireworks fall across the London skyline during New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Here’s PA Media’s report on the firework display on the banks of the River Thames in central London:

Thousands of people lined the Thames as London kicked off the new decade to the roar of football anthems such as Three Lions with the festivities providing a prelude to the Euro 2020 football tournament.

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, had promised the display – which also featured music from Stormzy, Wiley and Bastille – would be the best the capital “has ever seen”.

Big Ben rang out 12 times to mark the start of the new year despite the bell falling mostly silent in 2019 while renovation work is completed.

London’s annual New Year’s Eve fireworks display was sold out, with about 100,000 revellers packed into the streets around Victoria Embankment.

Around 2,000 fireworks set off during the display were fired from the London Eye, with the remainder coming from barges moored in a central location along the River Thames.

The show celebrated London’s role in hosting this summer’s international football tournament, which will take place in countries across the continent rather than being hosted by a single nation – and will see the capital host more fixtures than any other city.

Seven of the competition’s matches are set to be played in the capital, with Wembley Stadium scheduled to host the final and semi-finals.

“Football’s coming home” blared out as the Baddiel, Skinner and Lightning Seeds’ favourite accompanied the spectacular show, followed by The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army and classical hit Nessun Dorma.

Speaking in the city centre ahead of the celebrations on Tuesday night, Mr Khan told the PA news agency the “world” will be watching the display, and he hoped it would show London was a “global city”.

He said: “Fairly or unfairly, people around the world saw the Brexit referendum vote as the UK somehow turning its back on the rest of the world, including Europe.

“The fear was, we would become insular, inward-looking, and what I’m keen to show is the opposite.

“Yes we may be leaving the EU, but very much as a city we are still a European global city. We will continue to be open to people’s trade and ideas.

“What tonight’s fireworks are about is demonstrating our confidence.

“And it’s really important that we show the world who will be watching our fireworks that we are a confident, global, outward-looking European city.”

12.41am GMT

Hundreds of Kenyans gather on balconies as they watch a fireworks display during New Year’s Eve celebrations at the Two Rivers Mall in Nairobi, Kenya.
Hundreds of Kenyans gather on balconies as they watch a fireworks display during New Year’s Eve celebrations at the Two Rivers Mall in Nairobi, Kenya.
Photograph: Daniel Irungu/EPA

12.37am GMT

People in costumes gather to welcome the new year in Coin, near Malaga, Spain.
People in costumes gather to welcome the new year in Coin, near Malaga, Spain.
Photograph: Jorge Guerrero/AFP via Getty Images

12.30am GMT

Justin Welby, archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will tell viewers: “Let’s go for a heroic new year’s resolution. Let’s resolve to reconnect. To reach out to just one person we don’t know, or from whom we have drifted apart”
Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

The archbishop of Canterbury will urge people to make personal connections with others in 2020 to create a new unity in a divided society.

In his new year message, to be broadcast on BBC One at 1pm on Wednesday, Justin Welby will say: “Let’s go for a heroic new year’s resolution. Let’s resolve to reconnect. To reach out to just one person we don’t know, or from whom we have drifted apart.

“Pick one person. Pick up the phone. Send them a text. Meet them for a cup of tea. Make that connection. Let’s begin cementing our unity one brick at a time.”

Read Harriet Sherwood’s story here.

12.28am GMT

The New Year is being celebrated on and around the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam.
The New Year is being celebrated on and around the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam.
Photograph: Robin Utrecht/ANP/AFP via Getty Images

12.26am GMT

Fireworks burst over the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle, as part of New Year celebrations in the city.
Fireworks burst over the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle, as part of New Year celebrations in the city.
Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA

12.23am GMT

Fireworks light up the sky over the London Eye in central London during the New Year celebrations.
Fireworks light up the sky over the London Eye in central London during the New Year celebrations.
Photograph: Kirsty O’Connor/PA

12.20am GMT

The former directors of both the leave and remain campaigns in the EU referendum have joined cultural and religious leaders across the UK in an open letter calling for a “decade of reconnection”.

The letter, released on New Year’s Day, describes the 2010s as “the decade of division”, and says the country is “polarised” and “more fragmented than any of us would like”.

The heads of the British Olympic and Paralympic Associations, Scouts and Guides are among those calling for greater social integration and cohesion, and are encouraging Britons to make a new Year’s resolution to engage meaningfully with those around them.

“Our resolution is to reconnect,” the letter says. “To reach out to just one person we don’t know, or from whom we have drifted apart. To start rebuilding connections between neighbours and fellow citizens.”

Read more in Molly Blackall’s story here.

12.12am GMT

Fireworks light up the sky in Edinburgh during the Hogmanay New Year celebrations.
Fireworks light up the sky in Edinburgh during the Hogmanay New Year celebrations.
Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA

12.11am GMT

Fireworks light up the sky over the London Eye in central London during the New Year celebrations.
Fireworks light up the sky over the London Eye in central London during the New Year celebrations.
Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA

12.09am GMT

Fireworks explode over London Eye, Westminster Abbey and Elizabeth Tower near Parliament as thousands of revellers gather along the banks of the River Thames.
Fireworks explode over London Eye, Westminster Abbey and Elizabeth Tower near Parliament as thousands of revellers gather along the banks of the River Thames.
Photograph: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

12.00am GMT

Happy New Year from London, welcome to 2020!

A girl spins a burning steelwool near a bonfire to sprinkle fire sparks as they celebrate the new year on a street of Kibera slum in Nairobi
A girl spins a burning steelwool near a bonfire to sprinkle fire sparks as they celebrate the New Year on a street of Kibera slum in Nairobi
Photograph: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP via Getty Images

Updated at 12.05am GMT

11.36pm GMT

French president Emmanuel Macron delivering his New Year wishes during a televised address to the nation from the Elysee Palace in Paris.
French president Emmanuel Macron delivering his New Year wishes during a televised address to the nation from the Elysee Palace in Paris.
Photograph: Martin Bureau/FRANCE 2/AFP via Getty Images

French president Emmanuel Macron somewhat provocatively used his traditional New Year’s Eve address to pledge that he would push through an overhaul of the pension system despite the country having grinded to a halt after weeks of nationwide strikes by trade unions.

Fireworks illuminate the sky above the Arc de Triomphe.
Fireworks illuminate the sky above the Arc de Triomphe.
Photograph: Benoît Tessier/Reuters

The 42-year-old, who has faced a bruising year of protests including weekly demonstrations by the gilets jaunes movement which have frequently turned violent, said he expected his government to quickly find a compromise with unions on the reform, but that the original principles laid out by ministers would be adhered to.

People take pictures of the fireworks erupting in the sky on the Champs-Élysées.
People take pictures of the fireworks erupting in the sky on the Champs-Élysées.
Photograph: Martin Bureau/AFP via Getty Images

“The retirement reform that I’ve committed myself to before you will be carried through because it is a project of social justice and progress,” Macron said in the prime-time televised address to the nation.

Paris prepares to welcome the New Year.
Paris prepares to welcome the New Year.
Photograph: Kiran Ridley/Getty Images

“We will take into account difficult tasks so that those who do them can leave earlier,” Macron said.

The Arc de Triomphe is illuminated as Paris welcomes in the New Year.
The Arc de Triomphe is illuminated as Paris welcomes in the New Year.
Photograph: Kiran Ridley/Getty Images

Hundreds of thousands of people took the streets of the French capital to watch an awe-inspiring son et lumière show on the Champs-Élysées, the chic Parisian street which has become the focal point of ferocious clashes between anti-Macron protesters and the CRS riot police.

Updated at 11.45pm GMT

11.12pm GMT

German chancellor Angela Merkel gives her New Year’s address.
German chancellor Angela Merkel gives her New Year’s address.
Photograph: Michele Tantussi/Reuters

German chancellor Angela Merkel has used her New Year message to tell her countrymen that everything humanly possible must be done to tackle climate change.

Fireworks explode behind Berlin’s landmark Brandenburg Gate.
Fireworks explode behind Berlin’s landmark Brandenburg Gate.
Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/AFP via Getty Images

She said that there is good reason to be confident about the 2020s in her annual televised message, but she pointed to challenges such as the effect of digitization on people’s jobs and, above all, climate change.

Fireworks explode near Berlin’s TV tower.
Fireworks explode near Berlin’s TV tower.
Photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images

“The warming of our Earth is real. It is threatening. It and the crises arising from global warming were caused by humans,” she said. “So we must do everything humanly possible to deal with this challenge for humanity. That is still possible.”

Berlin welcomed the year 2020 with its annual fireworks display and street party near the German capital’s most prominent symbol.
Berlin welcomed the year 2020 with its annual fireworks display and street party near the German capital’s most prominent symbol.
Photograph: Adam Berry/EPA

Merkel said that was the principle behind a recently agreed German package of measures aimed at addressing climate change, which include a carbon dioxide pricing system for the transport and heating sectors and lowering value-added tax on long-distance rail tickets.

Fireworks light the sky during celebrations in Frankfurt.
Fireworks light the sky during celebrations in Frankfurt.
Photograph: Andreas Arnold/AP

She acknowledged criticism both from people who are worried about being overburdened by the measures and from those who think they don’t go far enough, but said they provide the necessary framework.

“It’s true that, at 65, I am at an age where I personally won’t experience all the consequences of climate change that would arise if politicians didn’t act,” she said.

“It is our children and grandchildren who will have to live with the consequences of what we do or don’t do today,” Merkel added. “So I am putting all my energy into Germany making its contribution ecologically, economically, socially to getting a grip on climate change.”

Europe must also raise its voice more strongly in the world, the four-term chancellor said, pledging to work for that during the EU presidency. She pointed to planned meetings with Chinese and African leaders.

Merkel, Germany’s leader since 2005, has said that her current term will be her last.

Updated at 11.44pm GMT

11.01pm GMT

RUSSIA-NEW-YEAR-POLITICSRussian president Vladimir Putin prepares to address his New Year wishes to the nation.
RUSSIA-NEW-YEAR-POLITICS
Russian president Vladimir Putin prepares to address his New Year wishes to the nation.

Photograph: Mikhail Klimentyev/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images

Russian president Vladimir Putin used his New Year’s address to call on his countrymen to unite for the sake of the nation’s future in an address that marked two decades since his ascent to power.

Appearing outside the Kremlin in a televised message that was broadcast just before midnight, the 67-year-old leader spoke to Russians for the 16th time since Boris Yeltsin’s shock New Year’s resignation in 1999.

“We live in an eventful, dynamic and controversial time, but we must do everything to make sure Russia develops successfully,” Putin said.

“Only together can we solve the problems ahead for the country, for our society. Our unity is the foundation for accomplishing the highest of goals,” he said.

“Our personal plans and dreams are indivisible from Russia’s. Its present and future depend on the efforts and contributions of each of us.”

Putin said he looked forward to celebrating the 75th anniversary of Russia’s World War II victory in 2020 and thanked veterans.

Moscow is planning to host world leaders during festivities on 9 May, one of Russia’s biggest official holidays.

An address to the nation from leaders in Moscow has been a tradition since the 1970s and is shown around midnight in Russia’s 11 time zones.

In Moscow, Russians celebrating on New Year’s Eve watch the speech as they wait for a live broadcast of the Kremlin clock striking midnight and a spectacular fireworks display.

10.43pm GMT

British prime minister Boris Johnson, enjoying a winter sun break on the exclusive privately owned island of Mustique with his girlfriend Carrie Symonds, has released his New Year’s message, saying that the country can look forward to a decade of “prosperity and opportunity” as it finally ends the “rancour and uncertainty” of Brexit.

“As we say goodbye to 2019 we can also turn the page on the division, rancour and uncertainty which has dominated public life and held us back for far too long,” he said.

“We can start a new chapter in the history of our country, in which we come together and move forward united, unleashing the enormous potential of the British people.”

The prime minister, who won a thumping majority in December 12’s general election, said that he was determined to be a “prime minister for everyone”, including the millions who backed remain or did not vote Conservative in the general election.

Read more in our story here, if you want to.

Updated at 10.45pm GMT

10.24pm GMT

Istanbul played host to a spectacular fireworks display which centred on the 15 July Martyrs Bridge which links the continents of Europe and Asia.

Fireworks illuminate the night sky in front of Ortakoy Mosque and the Bosphorus bridge which links Europe and Asia.
Fireworks illuminate the night sky in front of Ortakoy Mosque and the Bosphorus bridge which links Europe and Asia.
Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
The city of Istanbul is illuminated by an impressive pyrotechnic display to welcome in 2020.
The city of Istanbul is illuminated by an impressive pyrotechnic display to welcome in 2020.
Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
People take pictures in front of light decorations on Taksim Square.
People take pictures in front of light decorations on Taksim Square.
Photograph: Yasin Akgül/AFP via Getty Images

10.05pm GMT

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has somewhat soured the global party vibe by accusing the Trump administration of dragging its feet in nuclear negotiations and warning that his country will soon unveil a new strategic weapon.

Kim Jong Un said North Korea will never denuclearise unless the United States discards its hostile policy towards it.
Kim Jong Un said North Korea will never denuclearise unless the United States discards its hostile policy towards it.
Photograph: 朝鮮通信社/AP

North Korea’s state media said on Wednesday that Kim declared during a key political conference that the North will not give up its security for economic benefits and will never denuclearise unless the United States discards its hostile policy.

Fireworks are seen during New Year celebrations in Pyongyang.
Fireworks are seen during New Year celebrations in Pyongyang.
Photograph: KCNA/Reuters

Kim’s comments came after a months-long standoff with Washington over exchanging sanctions relief and disarmament measures, which dimmed hopes for denuclearising the North through diplomacy.

Updated at 11.53pm GMT

9.50pm GMT

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have posted a New Year’s message on Instagram, accompanied by a new photograph of Harry holding their son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.
The picture appears at the end of a short video, little more than a minute long, recapping the couple’s year to the tune of Coldplay’s Clocks.
The message said: “Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and thanking you for your continued support! We’ve loved meeting so many of you from around the world and can’t wait to meet many more of you next year. We hope 2020 brings each of you health and continued happiness.
“Special thanks to Chris Martin and Coldplay for allowing us to use one of their songs.”

Updated at 9.51pm GMT

9.45pm GMT

Fireworks explode over the Kremlin during New Year’s celebrations in Red Square.
Fireworks explode over the Kremlin during New Year’s celebrations in Red Square.
Photograph: Denis Tyrin/AP

Celebrations in Red Square in Moscow took place at 9pm GMT, and saw a spectacular firework display over the Kremlin.

Russians began the world’s longest continuous New Year’s Eve with fireworks and a message from President Vladimir Putin urging them to work together in the coming year.
Russians began the world’s longest continuous New Year’s Eve with fireworks and a message from President Vladimir Putin urging them to work together in the coming year.
Photograph: Tatyana Makeyeva/Reuters
A firework display in Red Square delighted Muscovites.
A firework display in Red Square delighted Muscovites.
Photograph: Denis Tyrin/AP

Updated at 10.08pm GMT

8.39pm GMT

Fireworks illuminate the sky around Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, during 2020 celebrations in Dubai.
Fireworks illuminate the sky around Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, during 2020 celebrations in Dubai.
Photograph: Ali Haider/EPA

8.35pm GMT

London mayor Sadiq Khan has promised tonight’s New Year’s Eve celebrations will feature the “best fireworks London has ever seen” in a statement that verged on the political and which will annoy his Brexiteer detractors.

The capital will “project confidence” on the world stage through the impressive display, Khan said. “Hand on heart, these are going to be the best fireworks London has ever seen.”

The mayor, a key opponent of Brexit, added that the “world” will be watching the display and he hoped it would show London was a “global city”.

He said: “Fairly or unfairly, people around the world saw the Brexit referendum vote as the UK somehow turning its back on the rest of the world, including Europe.

“The fear was, we would become insular, inward-looking, and what I’m keen to show is the opposite.

“Yes we may be leaving the EU, but very much as a city we are still a European global city. We will continue to be open to people’s trade and ideas.

“What tonight’s fireworks are about is demonstrating our confidence.

“And it’s really important that we show the world who will be watching our fireworks that we are a confident, global, outward-looking European city.”

The theme of this year’s display will look ahead to the capital hosting several key games in the Euro 2020 football tournament.

The pyrotechnics show will feature more than 12,000 fireworks, with the display being set to a soundtrack “inspired by London and Europe”, according to a spokeswoman for the mayor.

The event has sold out after more than 100,000 tickets were snapped up, and travel on Transport for London (TfL) services will be free until 4.30am on 1 January.

8.27pm GMT

A Palestinian horseman enjoys the last sunset of 2019 on a beach in Gaza City.
A Palestinian horseman enjoys the last sunset of 2019 on a beach in Gaza City.
Photograph: APAImages/REX/Shutterstock
People gather to celebrate in Seoul, South Korea.
People gather to celebrate in Seoul, South Korea.
Photograph: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images
Members of the indigenous Gurung community take part in a new near celebration ceremony known as ‘Tamu Lhosar’ in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Members of the indigenous Gurung community take part in a new near celebration ceremony known as ‘Tamu Lhosar’ in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Photograph: Prakash Mathema/AFP via Getty Images
The father of the first infant born in the new year at Cha Gangnam Medical Center in Seoul.
The father of the first infant born in the new year at Cha Gangnam Medical Center in Seoul.
Photograph: YONHAP/EPA
Selfie time against the backdrop of the Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taiwan.
Selfie time against the backdrop of the Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taiwan.
Photograph: Ritchie B Tongo/EPA

8.06pm GMT

Fireworks erupt over Mumbai’s iconic Gateway of India.
Fireworks erupt over Mumbai’s iconic Gateway of India.
Photograph: Indranil Mukherjee/AFP via Getty Images
Revellers in Ahmedabad dressed up for the occasion.
Revellers in Ahmedabad dressed up for the occasion.
Photograph: Amit Dave/Reuters
People celebrate in Mumbai.
People celebrate in Mumbai.
Photograph: Rajanish Kakade/AP

7.54pm GMT

And here’s some more about events in Edinburgh. You may followed our reporting of the row over residents of the city having access to their own homes curtailed by the official celebrations. This seems to have been resolved but has left a bitter taste in the mouths of many worried about the over-commercialisation of Hogmanay.

Here’s the Press Association’s report on the evening so far in the Scottish capital:

Crowds celebrate in Edinburgh.
Crowds celebrate in Edinburgh.
Photograph: Ian Georgeson/REX/Shutterstock

Celebrations have begun in Edinburgh, as crowds gathered to witness the New Year’s Eve fireworks set to illuminate the skies above the city’s street party.

The streets of Edinburgh are filling up as Hogmanay revellers prepare to welcome in the start of a new decade and enjoy the UK’s biggest street party.

Performances from Idlewild, Rudimental and Marc Almond will take place on stages throughout the city centre, while DJ Mark Ronson will usher in the new year, creating a new soundtrack ahead of the clock striking 12.

Approximately 100,000 visitors are expected to attend the event, according to organisers who billed the Hogmanay celebrations as the UK’s biggest New Year’s Eve street party.

A couple get into the spirit of Hogmanay.
A couple get into the spirit of Hogmanay.
Photograph: Ian Georgeson/REX/Shutterstock

TV stars Ant and Dec took to the stage in Princes Street Gardens early on Tuesday evening as crowds gathered, playing music and introducing the first firework display of the night.

Street theatre, circus acts and musical performances also took place up across more than a dozen streets, including the city’s main throughfare Princes Street and its adjacent gardens, while ceilidhs danced their way into the night in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle.

There had been criticism of the event’s organisation, amid uncertainty around how many passes residents were allowed, with Underbelly – which also runs the Edinburgh Festival Fringe – accused of creating “unnecessary confusion” by the council leader.

The festivities began in the city on Monday as around 40,000 people joined a torchlit procession which culminated in them forming the shape of two humans reaching out a “hand of friendship”.

Leading the parade down the Royal Mile and into Holyrood Park was a 40-strong cast from Celtic Fire Theatre company PyroCeltica.

7.33pm GMT

Here’s a good round-up from our friends at the Associated Press about events across the globe:

London

Londoners were making their way to the banks of the River Thames to jostle for position to watch a spectacular fireworks display launched from the London Eye and of barges near Parliament.

The London Eye ahead of this year’s celebrations.
The London Eye ahead of this year’s celebrations.
Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

The familiar chimes of Big Ben will ring in the new year, even though they have been silent for most of 2019 because of extensive restoration work.

Edinburgh

The multi-day Hogmanay celebrations began on Monday night with a torchlight parade through the streets of the Scottish capital.

New Year 2020 celebrationsDJ Mark Ronson will headlining the Hogmanay Street Party in Edinburgh.
New Year 2020 celebrations
DJ Mark Ronson will headlining the Hogmanay Street Party in Edinburgh.

Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA

Security was tight in both cities and elsewhere in Britain after police arrested five men on suspicion of terrorism offences on Monday, but said the arrests were not related to the celebrations.

South Africa

Thousands gathered at Cape Town’s Waterfront area to ring in the new year with music, dancing and fireworks in front of the city’s iconic Table Mountain.

In past years, residents of Johannesburg’s Hillbrow neighbourhood would celebrate the new year by tossing furniture, appliances and even refrigerators from the balconies of high-rise apartment buildings. Police have issued stern warnings and it appears the curious tradition has declined.

Rome

Pope Francis took a stroll in St Peter’s Square on Tuesday night to admire the Nativity scene. Shouts of “Pope! Pope!” and “Happy new year!” resounded as families rushed to catch a glimpse of him or thrust out their infant in hopes he would pat their heads or pinch their cheeks.

Pope Francis visits the nativity scene in Saint Peter’s Square.
Pope Francis visits the nativity scene in Saint Peter’s Square.
Photograph: Yara Nardi/Reuters

One woman grabbed the pope’s hand and pulled him toward her to shake it. Francis, 83, exclaimed and then struck the woman’s hand twice to free his hand.

United Arab Emirates

A 10-minute firework display will light up the sky over Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, with hundreds of thousands of people gathering to watch. It will be one of seven different events taking place in the city.

The Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, is prepared for the new year celebrations.
The Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, is prepared for the new year celebrations.
Photograph: Ali Haider/EPA

Japan

People flocked to temples and shrines in Japan, offering incense with their prayers to celebrate the passing of a year and the the first new year of the Reiwa era.

Under Japan’s old-style calendar, Reiwa started in May after Akihito stepped down and his son Naruhito became emperor. Although Reiwa is entering its second year with 2020, January 1 marks Reiwa’s first new year’s day, the most important holiday in Japan.

Japanese priestesses prepare for new year prayers at Kanda Myojin Shrine in Tokyo.
Japanese priestesses prepare for new year prayers at Kanda Myojin Shrine in Tokyo.
Photograph: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP via Getty Images

Stalls at Zojoji Temple in Tokyo sold sweet rice wine, fried noodles and candied apples, as well as little amulets in the shape of mice, the zodiac animal for 2020. Since the Year of the Mouse starts off the Asian zodiac, it’s associated with starting anew.

Indonesia

Tens of thousands turned out in Indonesia’s capital of Jakarta and were soaked by torrential rains as they waited for fireworks while others in the country were wary of an active volcano.

Fireworks explode over Lagoon Beach at Ancol in Jakarta.
Fireworks explode over Lagoon Beach at Ancol in Jakarta.
Photograph: Antara Foto/Reuters

Festive events along coastal areas near the Sunda Strait were dampened by a possible larger eruption of Anak Krakatau, an island volcano that erupted last year just ahead of Christmas Day, triggering a tsunami that killed more than 430 people.

Germany

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to turn out in Berlin’s traditional spot in front of the Brandenburg Gate.

People gather in front of Berlin’s landmark Brandenburg Gate.
People gather in front of Berlin’s landmark Brandenburg Gate.
Photograph: Jörg Carstensen/dpa/AFP via Getty Images

Several German cities including Munich and Hamburg have banned private fireworks amid concerns about the danger and environmental impacts from the increasingly powerful fireworks.

Updated at 7.37pm GMT

6.58pm GMT

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations got off to an explosive start with early fireworks as revellers enjoyed the funfair and other attractions in the historic heart of the city.

Fireworks are let off from Edinburgh Castle as part of the Hogmanay New Year celebrations in Edinburgh.
Fireworks are let off from Edinburgh Castle as part of the Hogmanay New Year celebrations in Edinburgh.
Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA

6.51pm GMT

Fireworks light up the sky during the new year celebrations at the Garuda Wisnu Kencana cultural park in Bali, Indonesia.
Fireworks light up the sky during the new year celebrations at the Garuda Wisnu Kencana cultural park in Bali, Indonesia.
Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

6.50pm GMT

Students of Allahabad Central university make a sand sculpture on the eve of New Year Celebration in Allahabad.
Students of Allahabad Central university make a sand sculpture on the eve of New Year Celebration in Allahabad.
Photograph: Prabhat Kumar Verma/ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock

It’s now 2020 in India, where there have been events up and down the country to mark the new year.

Artists perform during the new year Jasn a Bhopal 2020 in Bhopal.
Artists perform during the new year Jasn a Bhopal 2020 in Bhopal.
Photograph: Sanjeev Gupta/EPA

Areas of the country have been hit by unseasonably cold weather: New Delhi recorded its chilliest day in more than a century amid a severe cold wave across the north of India.

People huddle close to a fire during a cold winter evening in Kolkata.
People huddle close to a fire during a cold winter evening in Kolkata.
Photograph: Xinhua/Barcroft Media

6.23pm GMT

Ben Stack and the River Laxford, near Achfary.
Ben Stack and the River Laxford, near Achfary.
Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

It may be notionally be the depths of winter in the United Kingdom but three days ago a new provisional maximum temperature of 18.7C (65.66F) was recorded at Achfary in the Highlands by the Met Office.

If validated it would be the highest temperature officially recorded in the UK during the month.

6.15pm GMT

Protesters react as police fire tear gas during a demonstration in Hong Kong.
Protesters react as police fire tear gas during a demonstration in Hong Kong.
Photograph: Vincent Yu/AP

Inevitably, the crossing into the new year saw protests break out in Honk Kong, which police moved to suppress by firing tear gas volleys just minutes into 2020.

Pro-democracy protesters took their movement into the new year with midnight countdown rallies and a massive march planned for January 1.

The city has been battered by more than six months of unrest with marches attended by millions, as well as confrontations in which police have fired tear gas and rubber bullets – and protesters have responded with petrol bombs.

Before midnight on Tuesday, thousands of protesters gathered across the financial hub, including along the waterfront of Victoria Harbour and at nightlife hotspot Lan Kwai Fong. Protesters at the harbour front counted down chanting “Ten! Nine! Liberate Hong Kong, revolution now!” as they lit up their phones in a sea of lights.

Smaller crowds of protesters in the Mong Kok district set fire to barricades – and riot police unleashed 2020’s first tear gas cannisters in response.

Earlier police had used water cannon to disperse protesters in the same area while, in nearby Prince Edward neighbourhood, officers arrested several protesters staging a candlelight vigil.

6.09pm GMT

It’s Seth Jacobson taking over the blog until past midnight London time. The next set of celebrations we’re waiting on will be in India’s major cities in 20 minutes time.

Protest in New Delhi against a new citizenship law.
Protest in New Delhi against a new citizenship law.
Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

Many in the country will use the opportunity to hold protests against a citizenship law, despite prime minister Narendra Modi’s attempts to dampen demonstrations that have run for nearly three weeks, according to Reuters.

The country has been rocked since 12 December, when Modi’s government passed legislation easing the way for non-Muslim minorities from the neighbouring Muslim-majority nations of Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan to gain Indian citizenship.

Many Indians fear the move will discriminate against the minority Muslim community and chip away at the country’s secular constitution.

Protesters plan demonstrations in New Delhi, including the area of Shaheen Bagh, where hundreds of residents have blocked a major highway for 18 days.

Poetry recitals and speeches are planned by organisers at a protest outside the capital’s Jamia Millia university, which was stormed by police this month.

“New Year’s resolution to defend the constitution,” read the schedule for another protest planned in New Delhi, now in the grip of its second coldest winter in more than a century.

Police said they planned to deploy additional forces in New Delhi on New Year’s Eve, with traffic curbs imposed in some parts of the capital.

“All precautionary measures are in place,” said police official Chinmoy Biswal, who oversees the southeastern part of the city that includes Shaheen Bagh and Jamia Millia University.

“Recently, there have been no incidents. So we hope things will remain fine,” he told Reuters.

Updated at 6.12pm GMT

5.40pm GMT

With just under 12 hours to go before New Year there, people have been filing into New York’s Times Square, which the city’s counterterrorism czar says will probably be “the safest place on the planet Earth on New Years Eve”.

Thousands of police officers will be on duty for Tuesday night’s festivities, along with specialized units armed with long guns, bomb-sniffing dogs and other measures.

For the first time, police drones are expected to keep watch over the big, confetti-filled celebration a year late after rain grounded the department’s unmanned eye-in-the-sky last year.

This year’s forecast calls for some clouds, but no rain and none of the bitter cold that iced out spectators two years ago.

The NYPDs Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism, John Miller, said stacking various security tools and techniques gives police multiple chances to catch something coming through.

“Times Square is probably going to be the safest place on the planet Earth on New Year’s Eve because nobody else puts that kind of effort into an event like this,” Miller said.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said there are no specific, credible threats to the event, which brings hundreds of thousands of people to midtown Manhattan and attracts millions of TV viewers. Post Malone, BTS and Alanis Morissette are scheduled to perform on stages in the heart of Times Square.

Police officers check people bags before they enter Times Square in New York on New Year’s Eve, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019.
Police officers check people bags before they enter Times Square in New York on New Year’s Eve, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019.
Photograph: Seth Wenig/AP

5.17pm GMT

The New Year is being celebrated in countries including Thailand and Vietnam. Tens of thousands of revelers in Indonesias capital of Jakarta were soaked by torrential rains as they waited for New Year’s Eve fireworks.

Festive events along coastal areas near the Sunda Strait were meanwhile dampened by a possible larger eruption of Anak Krakatau, an island volcano that erupted last year just ahead of Christmas Day, triggering a tsunami that killed more than 430 people.

The country’s volcanology agency has warned locals and tourists to stay 2 kilometers (1.3 miles) from the volcano’s crater following an eruption Tuesday that blasted ash and debris up to 2,000 meters (6,560 feet) into the air.

A man rides motorbike loaded with joss paper products for sale in preparation for the Lunar New Year, or Tet holiday in Dao Tu village, in Bac Ninh, Vietnam, 30 December 2019. Vietnamese people often burn joss paper, a papier-mache form of material items such as money, gold, houses, cars during Tet holiday to pray for their ancestors. EPA/LUONG THAI LINH
A man rides motorbike loaded with joss paper products for sale in preparation for the Lunar New Year, or Tet holiday in Dao Tu village, in Bac Ninh, Vietnam, 30 December 2019. Vietnamese people often burn joss paper, a papier-mache form of material items such as money, gold, houses, cars during Tet holiday to pray for their ancestors. EPA/LUONG THAI LINH
Photograph: Luong Thai Linh/EPA
People watch a water show at National Monument (Monas) complex during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Jakarta, Indonesia December 31, 2019.
People watch a water show at National Monument (Monas) complex during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Jakarta, Indonesia December 31, 2019.
Photograph: Willy Kurniawan/Reuters
A young couple takes a selfie picture in front of a sign reading ‘2020 HNY’ in downtown Bangkok on December 27, 2019.
A young couple takes a selfie picture in front of a sign reading ‘2020 HNY’ in downtown Bangkok on December 27, 2019.
Photograph: Mladen Antonov/AFP via Getty Images

Updated at 5.21pm GMT

5.04pm GMT

Global stock markets have posted their best year since the aftermath of the financial crisis a decade ago, as US technology investors and shares in eurozone and Asia-based companies drove a worldwide rally.

The MSCI World Index, which tracks stocks across the developed world, jumped by almost 24% during 2019 – the strongest performance since 2009.

London fared relatively badly compared to other markets in 2019, however. The S&P 500 index of top US companies has surged by 28% this year, hitting a series of record highs, as Donald Trump’s tax cuts, share buybacks and optimism about US growth prospects boosted markets in the world’s largest economy. The tech-dominated Nasdaq index, whose stocks include Netflix, Facebook and Amazon, posted a rise of 35% over the year – with Apple leading the way by surging 84%.

Eurozone stocks also outperformed, with Germany’s Dax and France’s CAC both up 25%. Japan’s Nikkei gained 18%, helped by the prospect of new stimulus by Shinzo Abe’s government.

Stock traders wear New Year’s 2020 party glasses at New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019
Stock traders wear New Year’s 2020 party glasses at New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019
Photograph: Mark Lennihan/AP

4.50pm GMT

One of North Korean TV’s few live broadcasts of the year has been underway to ring in the new year. North Korea expert Martyn Williams has tweeted this video footage taken in the centre of Pyongyang.

Williams adds that Kim Jong Un is expected to make new year address later on as usual and is likely to announce his intentions regarding next steps in relation to North Korea’s fraught relationship with the US and neighbours.

State media reported earlier this week that the North Korean leader had called for “positive and offensive measures” to ensure security at a ruling party meeting ahead of a year-end deadline he has set for denuclearisation talks with the United States.

4.43pm GMT

New Year has arrived in Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul and other cities in the same timezone.

A man takes part in the event of New Year’s Eve countdown celebration at Shougang Industrial Park, one of the venues for the Beijing 2022 Olympics, in Beijing, China December 31, 2019.
A man takes part in the event of New Year’s Eve countdown celebration at Shougang Industrial Park, one of the venues for the Beijing 2022 Olympics, in Beijing, China December 31, 2019.
Photograph: Jason Lee/Reuters
New Year celebration in South Koreaepa08096338 Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon (L) attends at the New Year celebrations at Bosingakin Seoul, South Korea.
New Year celebration in South Korea
epa08096338 Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon (L) attends at the New Year celebrations at Bosingakin Seoul, South Korea

Photograph: Jeon Heon-Kyun/EPA
A reveller celebrates as confetti falls during a New Year’s Eve party in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines January 1, 2020.
A reveller celebrates as confetti falls during a New Year’s Eve party in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines January 1, 2020.
Photograph: Eloisa Lopez/Reuters

4.28pm GMT

Some of the stunning images of 2019 which were captured by photographers working with Guardian US have been collected here.

They include photos taken as part of reporting ranging from the stories of a besieged abortion clinic in Alabama to an indigenous community in northern California practicing prescribed burning.

4.11pm GMT

It’s new year in Hong Kong, where protests continued as the clock counted down to midnight.

Protesters march along the waterfront on new year’s eve in Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong Kong, China, 31 December 2019.
Protesters march along the waterfront on new year’s eve in Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong Kong, China, 31 December 2019.
Photograph: Vivek Prakash/EPA

Updated at 4.13pm GMT

3.44pm GMT

From Notre Dame’s spire collapsing in flames to sled dogs wading through Greenland’s melted ice water and Stormzy triumphant at Glastonbury – photographers have been recalling how they captured some of the defining images of the year.

It includes a recollection from Jorge Guerrero of the haunting photo he took of people being rescued of the coast of Malaga after an an inflatable boat carrying 132 migrants was rescued by the Spanish coastguard in the Alboran Sea.

Migrants queue upon their arrival at the harbour of Malaga on August 29, 2019, after an inflatable boat carrying 132 migrants was rescued by the Spanish coast guard, off the Spanish coast.
Migrants queue upon their arrival at the harbour of Malaga on August 29, 2019, after an inflatable boat carrying 132 migrants was rescued by the Spanish coast guard, off the Spanish coast.
Photograph: Jorge Guerrero/AFP via Getty Images

Guerrero added:

The reason they make the journey to Europe is complex, but it is often because of extreme poverty, exploitation and conflict in their countries of origin. You see in their faces, tiredness, despair and at the same time an expression of hope. Every time I photograph immigration, I feel sadness.

Updated at 3.46pm GMT

3.31pm GMT

In Japan, which has just been celebrating the arrival of 2020, people have been flocking to temples and shrines, offering incense with their prayers to celebrate the passing of a year and the first new year of what is known as the Reiwa era.

Under Japan’s old-style calendar, linked to emperors’ rules, Reiwa started in May, after Emperor Akihito stepped down and his son Naruhito became emperor.

Although Reiwa is entering its second year with 2020, 1 January still marks Reiwa’s first new year, the most important holiday in Japan.

“We have a new era and so I am hoping things will be better, although 2019 was also a good year because nothing bad happened,” said Masashi Ogami, 38, who ran a sweet rice wine stall at Zojoji Temple in Tokyo, told the Associated Press news agency

Other stalls sold fried noodles and candied apples, as well as little figures and amulets in the shape of mice, the zodiac animal for 2020. Since the Year of the Mouse starts off the Asian zodiac, it is associated with starting anew.

Tokyo host the 2020 Olympics in the first year of the decade, an event that is creating much anticipation for the capital and the entire nation.

Revellers release balloons as they take part in New Year countdown event in Tokyo, Japan
Revellers release balloons as they take part in New Year countdown event in Tokyo, Japan.
Photograph: Issei Kato/Reuters

Updated at 4.10pm GMT

3.16pm GMT

In London, those attending a New Year’s Eve party hosted by the couple who changed the law to allow mixed-sex couples in England and Wales to form civil partnerships are being invited “to bring the food that they love to cook or makes them feel loved up”.

Earlier today, I went to Chelsea Town Hall to report on how they joined thousands of others who have been entering into the new form of legal unions today.

“Today, as one decade ends and another dawns, we become civil partners in law,” Steinfeld, 38, said outside the building. “Our personal wish to form a civil partnership was rooted in our desire to formalise our relationship in a more modern way, focus on equality, and mutual respect.

“So today is a unique, special and personal moment for us, a moment that we’ve been able to affirm our love and commitment to one another in the company of our beautiful children, Eden and Ariel, and close friends.”

Following Steinfeld and Keidan’s victory at the supreme court in 2018, it is expected that as many as 84,000 ceremonies will be conducted in 2020 as couples take advantage of a right originally legislated for LBTQI couples.

On the last day of the decade a new legal relationship comes into being - mixed sex civil partnerships. Five years after first trying to give notice for a mixed-sex civil partnership, Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan finally register their relationship at Kensington and Chelsea Register Office. London
On the last day of the decade a new legal relationship comes into being – mixed sex civil partnerships. Five years after first trying to give notice for a mixed-sex civil partnership, Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan finally register their relationship at Kensington and Chelsea Register Office. London
Photograph: David Levene/The Guardian

Updated at 4.11pm GMT

3.06pm GMT

Hong Kong’s tourism board has been in touch to share details of what has been planned for the new year celebrations in less than an hour, when the city’s Victoria Harbour will take centre stage.

An “enhanced edition” of one of the world’s largest light and music shows – A Symphony of Lights – is set to ring in 2020 with a kaleidoscope of lighting effects..

A minute before midnight the façade of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) will turn into a giant clock to count down to the new year. “Once the clock strikes midnight, an enriched version of the multimedia show, A Symphony of Lights, will commence,” according to the tourism board.

“In addition to lasers, searchlights, LED screens and other lighting effects at numerous harbour-front buildings, the new year countdown special edition will be synchronised with pyrotechnics launched from building rooftops and the display of ‘2020’ on the façade of the HKCEC.”

Updated at 3.08pm GMT

2.33pm GMT

Protesters block road in Hong Kong

Reuters is reporting that thousands of protesters briefly blocked one of Hong Kong’s main roads after forming human chains across the city, urging people not to give up the fight for democracy in 2020.

The protesters fled when police came to clear the road of objects such as umbrellas, street furniture and the metal skeleton of a Christmas tree decoration but then occupied other parts of the road. At least one man was arrested.

Authorities have cancelled the popular midnight fireworks for the first time in a decade, citing security concerns. A “Symphony of Lights” is planned instead, involving projections on to the city’s tallest skyscrapers after a countdown to midnight.

Tuesday began with small-scale lunchtime rallies, followed by marches through several prime shopping malls and giant human chains in various districts across the city.

On Nathan Road, an important artery on the Kowloon peninsula, protesters in a chain stretching for several kilometres raised lit-up smartphones as passing cars and buses honked in support and tourists in party hats and 2020-shaped glasses took pictures. Many protesters held up cards reading “Let’s keep fighting together in 2020”.

The chain later spilled over into the road, and some protesters built barricades and hid behind umbrellas, blocking traffic.

Protesters take part in a human chain rally at the Tsim Sha Tsui district of Hong Kong.
Protesters take part in a human chain rally at the Tsim Sha Tsui district of Hong Kong.
Photograph: Isaac Lawrence/AFP via Getty Images

Updated at 3.09pm GMT

2.05pm GMT

The Pope has tweeted to mark the new year.

Updated at 2.09pm GMT

1.58pm GMT

London is also gearing up for its NYE celebrations. Police have warned people not to attend the celebrations on the River Thames without a ticket, urging them to watch from home or attend other events in the city. The fireworks display on the river is sold out, with more than 100,000 tickets sold.

Updated at 2.11pm GMT

1.49pm GMT

As part of our ‘the world in 2020’ series, Guardian reporters are looking ahead to the coming year.

Lily Kuo in Beijing reports on how the Chinese government will seek to boost nationalist sentiment by blaming foreign influences, while the Guardian Middle East correspondent, Martin Chulov, writes about how US isolationism is leaving the region on the edge. You can read the series here.

Updated at 1.56pm GMT

1.43pm GMT

One of Sydney’s most controversial New Year’s Eve fireworks displays has gone off without a hitch as almost m was raised for bush communities, reports the Australian Associated Press.

Crowds lining the city’s harbour watched the display as Indigenous electronic duo Electric Fields kicked off an all-Australian musical playlist. The pylons of the centrepiece Sydney Harbour Bridge earlier lit up with messages calling for donations to the Red Cross’s disaster relief fund. By midnight, more than 0,000 had been raised.

Updated at 1.58pm GMT

1.19pm GMT

Here are some photographs of the New Year’s Eve celebrations in Sydney.

Fireworks explode to welcome in the New Year over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.
Fireworks explode to welcome in the New Year over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.
Photograph: City Of Sydney Dean Lewins/AAP
A reveller is seen during New Year’s Eve celebrations at Kirribilli in Sydney.
A reveller is seen during New Year’s Eve celebrations at Kirribilli in Sydney.
Photograph: City Of Sydney Dan Himbrechts/AAP
New Year celebrations in Sydney.
New Year celebrations in Sydney.
Photograph: Dean Lewins/EPA

Updated at 1.59pm GMT

1.05pm GMT

New Year on Australia’s east coast

Happy New Year, Sydney.

Updated at 2.01pm GMT

12.56pm GMT

It is nearly midnight in much of Australia (in cities like Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra).

Tens of thousands of Victorians have gathered in Melbourne to enjoy an early new year celebration, reports the Australian Associated Press.

As the city darkened and the weather settled near 20C, families gathered next to Melbourne cricket ground to watch movies, listen to music and witness an early seven-minute firework show that will serve as an appetiser for the midnight show.

Police heavily secured the surrounding area. Many officers relaxedly patrolled the streets and walkways, takings pictures with some of the attendees.

More than 500 security guards, 118 marshals and 22 area wardens are employed for the celebration, which has five kilometres of fencing across the city.

Along the Yarra River bend, skaters spent the last hours of the night practising their tricks while groups of friends secured a spot to watch the spectacular fireworks that will fill the city with light at midnight.

More than 14 tonnes of fireworks will be used for the City of Melbourne’s show, called Reach for the Stars.

The city council says New Year’s Eve 2019 will help raise funds for the Salvation Army emergency services responding to bushfires in Victoria, NSW, Queensland and Western Australia.

Updated at 2.03pm GMT

12.08pm GMT

Here are some photographs from the new year celebrations in Auckland, New Zealand, which welcomed the dawn of 2020 just over an hour ago.

Auckland Celebrates New Year’s Eve 2019.
Auckland Celebrates New Year’s Eve 2019.
Photograph: Steve Thomson/Getty Images for ATEED
New Zealanders Celebrate New Year’s Eve 2019.
New Zealanders celebrate New Year’s Eve.
Photograph: Dave Rowland/Getty Images
New Zealanders Celebrate New Year’s Eve 2019.
New Zealanders celebrate New Year’s Eve 2019.
Photograph: Dave Rowland/Getty Images

Updated at 12.20pm GMT

11.59am GMT

Looking for a way to kill some time before this evening’s new year’s celebrations? Take our, very hard, TV quiz of the decade.

11.46am GMT

The UN secretary general, António Guterres, has issued a new year’s message, saying the world is entering 2020 with “uncertainty and insecurity” all around.

“We cannot afford to be the generation that fiddled while the planet burned,” he said, adding that there was hope in the power of youth around the planet. “From climate action to gender equality to social justice and human rights, your generation is on the frontlines and in the headlines,” he said. “I am inspired by your passion and determination.”

Updated at 12.22pm GMT

11.26am GMT

Preparations are under way in Edinburgh for its Hogmanay festival amid a row over the rights of residents in the city’s centre to access their homes.

The leader of Edinburgh council, Adam McVey, has accused Underbelly, the events company that runs Edinburgh’s winter and Hogmanay festivals, for the dispute over access rights for people who live within the large security zone covered by the festival.

The row erupted last week after it emerged that the festival’s organisers had said applications by residents for any more than six access passes would be screened by the police. This is from the Guardian’s Scotland editor, Severin Carrell.

About 75,000 revellers are expected to converge on the Hogmanay festival site, called the arena by Underbelly, for performances featuring Mark Ronson, Marc Almond and other acts spread over several stages.

Residential and shopping areas such as Rose Street, Princes Street, Mound Place, Castle Street, Frederick Street and Hanover Street will be cordoned off with steel barriers and security checks.

One of its biggest events is the Hogmanay fireworks display from Edinburgh Castle. But residents inside the zone will be barred from viewing it at street level unless they have bought festival tickets.

To the anger of community groups, Underbelly also suggested that if residents wanted larger numbers of access passes for their own Hogmanay parties, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service would be asked to check that was within safety limits for their property.

You can read the full story here.

Updated at 11.44am GMT

11.10am GMT

The Guardian’s community team wants to know what your hopes for the next decade are.

As 2019 draws to a close, we want to find out your hopes, dreams and desires for the next decade.

The 2010s have provided the world with an array of defining challenges: from the rise in political populism to the fight against the climate emergency. There have been huge people movements from the Arab spring to Black Lives Matter, MeToo and the Global climate strikes.

It was a defining decade for LGBTQ people from the very start, with Argentina legalising same-sex marriage and communities grappling with how gender should be constructed.

The advancement of tech companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon has dramatically altered how people connect with media and each other.

In the UK, love it or hate it, Brexit, became one of the most defining moments of British political history.

In such complex and turbulent times it is almost impossible to know what the future holds for us all. Nonetheless, we want to know what you hope the future will bring – also what you expect to see more of and any solutions you think may work.

Share your thoughts with us here.

Updated at 11.12am GMT

11.05am GMT

And happy new year to everybody in New Zealand.

10.57am GMT

The countdown to new year has started in Auckland, New Zealand. You can watch it here.

Updated at 11.10am GMT

10.54am GMT

“Family Fireworks” have been launched over Sydney Harbour as part of New Year’s Eve celebrations. The smaller fireworks display is launched at 9pm local time for children and families.

Fireworks explode over Sydney Harbour.
Fireworks explode over Sydney Harbour.
Photograph: Dean Lewins/EPA
New Year’s Eve celebrations in Sydney.
New Year’s Eve celebrations in Sydney.
Photograph: Dean Lewins/EPA

Updated at 11.10am GMT

10.23am GMT

Wondering what 2020 might have in store for us here in the UK? Here’s the Observer’s guide to who and what to look out for.

10.15am GMT

Happy New Year Samoa

It is now 2020 in Samoa.

The South Pacific country battled a measles outbreak in 2019, having to impose a six-week state of emergency in November. The highly infectious disease killed 81 people, most of them babies and young children, and left more than 5,600 others ill.

The country’s prime minister, Tuilaepa Sailele, has also been outspoken about climate change, which is affecting the island nation more than most. “Climate change crosses borders uninvited and does not discriminate by size or economic status,” he said earlier this year.

“It impacts every country, though some more extensively than others; like small island developing states, because of their particular and unique vulnerabilities.”

Updated at 1.06pm GMT

10.02am GMT

Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks became contentious this year as the country faces an unprecedented bushfire crisis. With 100 fires burning in New South Wales and a total fire ban across Sydney, more than 275,000 people signed a petition calling for the fireworks to be cancelled and the money donated to fire relief. But authorities insisted the money had already been spent and signalled the event generates 0m for the NSW economy.

The state’s fire service granted an exemption from the fire ban for Sydney’s fireworks while many other events around the state had to be cancelled. Sydney’s lord mayor said the council had already donated 0,000 to bushfire and drought-affected communities and the broadcast of the event would also act as a fundraiser for further relief money.

A smoking ceremony welcoming visitors to Gadigal land is performed on vessel Tribal Warrior in Sydney Harbour during New Year’s Eve celebrations.
A smoking ceremony welcoming visitors to Gadigal land is performed on vessel Tribal Warrior in Sydney Harbour during New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Photograph: City Of Sydney Steven Saphore/AAP

Updated at 10.50am GMT

9.47am GMT

It’s New Year’s Eve 2019

Good morning – or evening, depending on your perspective – and welcome to the Guardian’s New Year’s Eve live blog. We’ll be covering the festivities as people celebrate the dawning of the year 2020 around the globe, starting in the Pacific on Christmas Island and Samoa, where the clock will strike midnight in 15 minutes.

It’s been an astonishing year, from the impeachment of the US president to the landslide Conservative victory in the UK general election. There was unrest in Hong Kong as well as global climate change protests, major terror attacks from New Zealand to Sri Lanka, and natural disasters – most recently the bushfires in Australia – kill thousands.

We’ll be bringing you reflections on 2019 – and indeed the past decade – as the day progresses.

Updated at 1.06pm GMT

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