Fireworks lit up the Sydney skyline because the world began to welcome 2020, however celebrations within the Australian metropolis have been mired in controversy as a result of ongoing bushfires ravaging elements of the nation.

There have been doubts as as to if the spectacular show to ring within the new yr would go forward due to the devastation brought on by the flames, which have forced hundreds from their homes in New South Wales.

Greater than 1,000,000 folks nonetheless descended on Sydney Harbour for the normal occasion, having been granted an exemption from a fireworks ban to stop additional wildfires.

Fireworks explode over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House
Picture: Fireworks explode over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera Home
The water lights up with colour as Sydney Celebrates New Year's Eve
Picture: The water lights up with color as Sydney celebrates
Over a million people descended on Sydney Harbour to celebrate
Picture: Over 1,000,000 folks descended on Sydney Harbour to have fun

The celebrations in Sydney, which is the capital of New South Wales, have been anticipated to generate some £69m for the regional economic system – however many nonetheless referred to as for them to be cancelled.

Responding to critics, town mayor Clover Moore mentioned planning for the fireworks started 15 months in the past and a lot of the price range had already been allotted.

Billions watched the fireworks around the world
Picture: Billions watched the fireworks around the globe
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 01: Fireworks light up the sky above Sydney Harbour during the midnight fireworks display during New Year's Eve celebrations on January 1st, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Picture: The midnight fireworks show attracted big crowds

Some one billion folks worldwide have been thought to have watched the Sydney occasion, which got here two hours after a powerful show in Auckland.

Half a tonne of fireworks burst from the Sky Tower above town centre, bringing to an finish a yr that has not been brief on tragedy for the small island nation.

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Again in March, a gunman killed 51 people and injured dozens at two mosques in Christchurch – and in December no less than 19 have been killed when a volcano erupted on White Island.

New Zealand fireworks
New 12 months celebrations in Auckland

Later there have been spectacular shows within the North Korean capital Pyongyang and Seoul in South Korea, with the latter seeing 1000’s collect within the chilly downtown streets forward of a standard bell-tolling ceremony close to Metropolis Corridor.

Fireworks additionally drew massive crowds in Tokyo, together with on the metropolis’s Disneyland theme park, as locals put together for an thrilling yr that can see them welcome guests from everywhere in the world for the 2020 Olympics this summer time.

Fireworks light up Sydney skyline as world starts to welcome 2020 - EpicNews
Celebrations in North Korea

Hong Kong opted for a extra modest gentle present, accompanied by a cinematic soundtrack, as town bid farewell to a yr dominated by mass protests against the government.

Authorities deployed 6,000 cops on the streets of the Chinese language-run former British colony, the place the same old fireworks show was cancelled.

People get ready to celebrate the new year in Seoul
Picture: Folks get able to have fun the brand new yr in Seoul
Revellers release balloons during a New Year countdown event in Tokyo
Picture: Revellers launch balloons throughout a New 12 months countdown occasion in Tokyo

Chief Carrie Lam appealed for calm and reconciliation in her New 12 months’s Eve video message, with protesters seen forming human chains urging folks not to surrender the battle for democracy in 2020.

One was seen holding a banner studying: “Always remember. By no means forgive.”