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.

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