Sydney 2013
Fireworks explode over and around the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House during new year celebrations

As revellers up and down the UK put their champagne in the fridge in preparation for midnight, in some parts of the world the bottles have already been uncorked.

Fireworks have already illuminated the skies of New Zealand, Australia, Eastern Russia, Japan and Korea, because 2013 has already started.

More than 1.5 million people gathered to see the traditional New Year's Eve fireworks display in Sydney harbour, according to Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

Sydney's skyline exploded in red, gold, pink and green as the $6.6m fireworks display was propelled into the sky.

The event, chaired by creative ambassador Kylie Minogue, took place a couple of hours after the clock struck twelve in Auckland, and two hours before Seoul and Tokyo celebrated the midnight hour.

However the very first country to celebrate the end of 2012 and the beginning of the new year was the Kiritimati, or Christmas Island, an atoll in the deep pacific ocean part of the Republic of Kiribati.

New Year's Eve 2012: Myanmar Celebrates First Public Countdown

Fireworks explode around the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House
Fireworks explode around the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera HouseReuters
Taiwan's tallest building, Taipei 101, lights up like a rocket as 2013 celebrations get under way (Reuters)
Taiwan's tallest building, Taipei 101, lights up like a rocket as 2013 celebrations get under way (Reuters)Reuters
Fireworks explode over Sydney's skyline
Fireworks explode over Sydney's skylineReuters
More than 1.5 million people gathered to see the traditional New Year's Eve fireworks display in Sydney harbour
More than 1.5 million people gathered to see the traditional New Year's Eve fireworks display in Sydney harbourReuters
Sydney's skyline exploded in red, gold, pink and green
Sydney's skyline exploded in red, gold, pink and greenReuters
2013 celebrations in Sydney, Australia
2013 celebrations in Sydney, AustraliaReuters
Lights on the Tokyo Tower, Japan
Lights on the Tokyo Tower, JapanInstagram
Fireworks explode over and around the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House during new year celebrations
Fireworks explode over and around the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House during new year celebrations
2013 celebrations in Hong Kong
2013 celebrations in Hong KongReuters
Fireworks light the sky over Victoria Harbour during a pyrotechnic show to celebrate the New Year in Hong Kong
Fireworks light the sky over Victoria Harbour during a pyrotechnic show to celebrate the New Year in Hong KongReuters
Fireworks explode over the skyline of Putrajaya, Malaysia
Fireworks explode over the skyline of Putrajaya, MalaysiaReuters
Fireworks explode near the Malaysia's landmark Petronas Twin Towers during New Year celebrations in Kuala Lumpur
Fireworks explode near the Malaysia's landmark Petronas Twin Towers during New Year celebrations in Kuala LumpurReuters
Japanese revellers release balloons
Japanese revellers release balloonsReuters
Away from the fireworks, sand artists In Puri, India, greet 2013 with a sculpture
Away from the fireworks, sand artists In Puri, India, greet 2013 with a sculptureReuters
New Year in Beijing
New Year in BeijingReuters