Australia, New Zealand lead world in ringing in 2018

Australia rings in the New Year Sunday with a spectacular display of rainbow-colored fireworks cascading from Sydney Harbour Bridge, as revelers mark the nation’s legalization of gay marriage amid tight security.

About 1.5 million people pack the city’s foreshore to watch the pyrotechnics light up the sky above the historic bridge and the iconic opera house, the first major celebrations worldwide after New Zealand.

“This is a fabulous way to see out 2017 — the year that four out of five Sydneysiders said a resounding ‘Yes’ to marriage equality,” says Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore of the nationwide postal vote in support of change.

Thousands turned out earlier in New Zealand’s largest city Auckland for the annual New Year’s Eve street party, marked by a major fireworks display from the Sky Tower.


The “family fireworks”, displayed three hours before midnight every year ahead of the main show at midnight, fill the sky over the Opera House and Harbour Bridge in Sydney on New Year’s Eve on December 31, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / Saeed KHAN)

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