New Year's celebrated around the world

Fireworks lit up over Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto, the famous glittering ball dropped in New York City's Times Square and revellers around the world welcomed 2016.

Police presence heavy in some spots over fears of terror attacks

Fireworks go off to mark the beginning of 2016 during New Years Eve celebrations held at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto. (Marta Iwanek/Canadian Press)

Fireworks lit up over Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto, the famous glittering ball dropped in New York City's Times Square and revellers around the world welcomed 2016.

In Canada, thousands packed into New Year's Eve party spots like Toronto's Nathan Phillips Square and Montreal's Old Port, while partiers in Halifax filled the city's historic Grand Parade square. 

And with heightened fears of terrorist attacks, 6,000 police officers in New York City were guarding the Crossroads of the World, where about one million people crammed in to celebrate.

A couple kisses while ringing in the new year at Times Square in New York. (Julio Cortez/Associated Press)

But the event in New York City, broadcast live on national television, went off without a hint of trouble, as a festive mood prevailed  despite — or perhaps because of — the heavy police presence.

As 2015 drew to a close, many people were bidding a weary and wary adieu to a year marred by attacks that left nations reeling and nerves rattled.

In Bangkok, site of a deadly bombing months ago, police flanked partygoers. In Paris, residents recovering from their city's own deadly attacks enjoyed scaled-back celebrations. And in Munich, police warned of the threat of a terror attack.

Some festivities became dangerous, such as in the Philippines, where one man was killed and at least 380 were injured by firecrackers. A fire gutted 1,000 shanties in Manila despite rain and a government warning campaign, officials said Friday.

Many superstitious Filipinos usher in the new year with powerful firecrackers, believing that noisy celebrations — largely influenced by Chinese tradition — drive away bad luck and evil. 

The death occurred when a drunken man lit a dynamite-like firecracker called "Goodbye Philippines" and embraced it as it exploded, ripping his jaw and killing him, Health Secretary Janet Garin announced. Fire officials said a rocket lit by revellers set an abandoned hut ablaze, sparking a fire that razed about 1,000 shanties in Manila's Tondo slum district and displacing several thousand families.

Here's a look at how people around the welcomed the new year:

Paris, still recovering from the deadly Nov. 13 attacks, cancelled its usual fireworks display in favour of a five-minute video performance at the Arc de Triomphe just before midnight, relayed on screens along the Champs Elysee. 

Paris, still recovering from the deadly Nov. 13 attacks, cancelled its usual fireworks display in favour of a five-minute video performance at the Arc de Triomphe just before midnight, relayed on screens along the Champs Elysee. (Francois Mori/Associated Press)

Fireworks lit up the sky above the Brandenburg Gate shortly after midnight in Berlin.

Hundred of thousands of people gathered for the New Year celebrations, welcoming the new year 2016 at the area around the Brandenburg Gate in the capital of Germany. (Markus Schreiber/Associated Press)

The Giza Pyramids near Cairo was the site of New Year's Eve celebrations.

Two Egyptian men and a camel stand on a hill overlooking one of the Giza Pyramids during a New Year's Eve fireworks display near Cairo, Egypt at midnight. (Maya Alleruzzo/Associated Press)

Tokyo rang in the new year 14 hours ahead of the eastern time zone.

People hold balloons to release them at the turn of the New Year at a hotel in front of the landmark Tokyo Tower in Japan. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

People left messages and wishes for the new year at Tokyo's Meiji Shrine earlier in the day.

Wooden plaques with wishes written on them are hung at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo on Dec. 31, 2015. More than three million people visit the Meiji Shrine during the first three days of the New Year, to pray for their health, economic fortune and other wishes. (Kimimasa Mayama/EPA)

Beijing celebrated the Gregorian calendar's new year ahead of Chinese New Year, which comes on Feb. 8.

Performers pose for photos before the countdown to the New Year at an event in Beijing, China. (Ng Han Guan/The Associated Press)

Singapore shot fireworks into the sky over Marina Bay.

Fireworks explode in Marina Bay against the skyline of Singapore during New Year's celebrations. (Edgar Su/Reuters)

Sydney, Australia, celebrated with fireworks over the Opera House.

Fireworks explode over the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge as Australia's largest city ushers in the New Year. (Jason Reed/Reuters)

Taiwan's Taipei 101 tower before the fireworks …

Photographers prepare to take photos of fireworks at the Taipei 101 skyscraper on New Year's Eve in Taipei, Taiwan. (Ritchie B. Tongo/EPA)

… and after.

Fireworks explode from Taiwan's tallest skyscraper, the Taipei 101, during New Year celebrations. (Pichi Chuang/Reuters)

In Sao Paolo, Brazil, runners took to the streets in costumes for the annual New Year's run.

A runner dressed as Charlie Chaplin holds a clapperboard reading 'Happy 2016' before the annual Sao Silvestre Run, an international race through the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Nacho Doce/Reuters)

In Lucerne, Switzerland, people jumped into the chilly waters of the Reuss.

Around 40 lifeguards of the Swiss Lifesaving Society SLRG celebrate New Year's Eve by jumping and swimming in the Reuss river with the Kappel bridge in the background in Lucerne, Switzerland. (Urs Flueeler/EPA)

Indians celebrated New Year's with vegetable art …

Indian artist Harwinder Singh Gill displays his new vegetable artwork made with vegetables on New Year' Eve in Amritsar, Indiaon Dec. 31. Dental hygienist by profession, Gill has made the sculpture to wish everyone a prosperous new year. (Raminder Pal Singh/EPA)

Face painting …

Indian school girls with their faces painted, say farewell to 2015 and welcome the new year in a school in Jammu, the winter capital of Kashmir, India. (Jaipal Singh/EPA)

… and head-shaving.

A man gets a haircut welcoming the New Year at a barbershop in Ahmedabad, India on Dec. 31. (Amit Dave/Reuters)

Meanwhile, in Brussels, the city cancelled its New Year's celebrations due to fears of an attack.

A worker dismantles equipment that would have been used to celebrate New Year's Eve in central Brussels on Dec. 31. Authorities in the Belgian capital on Wednesday called off the city's traditional fireworks display, citing fears of a militant attack. (Francois Lenoir/Reuters)

Security was also heightened in Shanghai after last year's deadly stampede.

Chinese paramilitary police personnel stand on duty on the Bund, a popular tourist attraction in Shanghai, on Dec. 31. Authorities cancelled the annual countdown at the Bund as a precaution against a repeat of last year's deadly stampede. (The Associated Press)

Jakarta was on high alert after alleged plans for attacks on Christmas and New Year's were foiled.

Indonesian police bomb squad members stand guard at Jakarta's main roundabout on Dec. 31. Indonesia ramped up security measures for the holiday season, following the arrests of several men suspected of planning Christmas and New Year's attacks. (Adi Weda/EPA)

Still, celebrations have been mainly joyful — like these happy people in Seoul. How will you ring in 2016?

People gathered to celebrate the new year during a countdown event in Seoul, South Korea. (Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters)

With files from Tracey Lindeman, Associated Press, Reuters


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