The people of the South Sea atoll of Kiritimati were the first in the world to welcome the year 2024. The approximately 7,300 residents started the new year at 11 a.m. German time. The Chatham Islands, which belong to New Zealand, followed just 15 minutes later. They are located about 800 kilometers east of New Zealand and have their own time zone - only around 700 residents live on two of the ten islands in the archipelago.
An hour after Kiritimati, New Zealand and the island states of Samoa and Tonga celebrated the turn of the year. In New Zealand's largest city, Auckland, the 328 meter high Sky Tower was at the center of an elaborate light show with 500 kilograms of pyrotechnics.
Sydney plans Mega Light Show with AI
At 2 p.m. German time, a mega light show will illuminate the sky in Sydney, Australia, against the world-famous backdrop of the Harbor Bridge and the Opera House. According to organizers, more than 13,500 fireworks with all sorts of elaborate special effects will be set off in the harbor district alone. In addition, for the first time ever, there will be light projections generated by artificial intelligence - which cause neither air nor noise pollution.
A million onlookers are expected in the metropolis on the east coast, including visitors from Germany and other European countries. Around a billion people around the world traditionally watch on screens.
Thailand starts in the year 2567
Gigantic light spectacles were also planned in many Asian metropolises, including Singapore, where numerous onlookers are expected to watch the fireworks at Marina Bay with a view of the skyline. In Bangkok, the mighty Chao Phraya River is once again at the center of the celebrations, in which the lights of the mega fireworks are traditionally reflected. Many wanted to party on party boats to experience the show up close. Thailand, which follows the Buddhist calendar, starts in the year 2567.
American Samoa, located just 220 kilometers east of Samoa on the other side of the International Date Line, will be the last country to ring in 2024 - twelve hours after Germany.