New Zealand, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong welcomed the new year and decade with fireworks. The clock struck midnight in New Zealand an hour after Samoa and Christmas islands, located near Australia, and the first to enter 2020.
The fireworks display in New Zealand erupted from Auckland's 328-metre tall Sky Tower on Wednesday. Thousands of revelers on the waterfront watched brightly colored fireworks and laser lighting shooting into the night sky over the city's harbor.
Smoke-choked Sydney ushered in the New Year with a huge fireworks display, kicking off celebrations for billions around the world and ringing in the new decade. Toxic smoke haze has shrouded Sydney for weeks and a petition to cancel the event out of respect for fire victims attracted more than 280,000 signatures. Fireworks displays were scrapped in Australia's capital, Canberra, and Sydney's western suburbs due to elevated fire danger and extreme weather conditions.
Hong Kong also entered the new year with the usual pomp and show.