New Year celebrations ring in 2017 around the world

(CNN)As 2016 draws to a close — a fact unlamented by many — countries across the globe have been ringing in the New Year. Hello, 2017 — here we come!

As the hours unleashed a domino effect of celebrations starting in the easternmost parts of the world, revelers in the United States prepared early for the ball — or indeed, other things — to drop. Many Americans contemplated turning the page on a year that was a political roller coaster.
In New York’s Times Square, Ben Von Klemperer took in the heightened security as the gates opened more than 12 hours before the big celebration. Mother Nature cooperated — somewhat — with temperatures climbing from the high 30s to the low 40s during the afternoon hours.

    The gates have opened at Times Square in New York City, as NYPD officers search revelers arriving more than twelve hours before midnight (31-Dec-2016, 11:22am). #manhattan #NYC #TmesSquare #timesquarenyc #nyc #nyesecurityguards #nyesecurity #cnnireport #cnnnye #nye #newyearseve #NYPD #nypdsfinest #abc7eyewitness #news4ny #news4newyork #wcbs #ny1news

    A video posted by benveekay (@benveekay) on Dec 31, 2016 at 8:41am PST

    Many bundled up on the cordoned off streets to claim their positions hours before Gotham’s traditional midnight ball drop.
    Across the Atlantic, European cities including Berlin, London, Paris and Rome stepped up security ahead of their celebrations, following truck attacks in 2016 on crowds in Nice, France, and Berlin.


    At Manila’s Ocean Park, Kevin Gener photographed shafts of red light rising over the marine theme park.

    Best year so far! Thankful for my loving family, awesome friends and supportive colleagues who made it so exciting and full of life! New Year's Resolution, beat 2016! #newyear #2017

    A photo posted by Kevin Gener (@kevingener) on Dec 31, 2016 at 8:15am PST

    Riley Nolan marveled at the illuminated outlines of the Philippines’ financial hub in the city of Makati.

    Happy New Year!

    A photo posted by Riley Nolan (@rnolan54) on Dec 31, 2016 at 8:13am PST


    Asimina Tzatha stood with revelers in Tokyo, cheerily dispatching the final 12 seconds of 2016.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR from Tokyo Japan #newyears #lifestyle #tokyo #japan #shibuya #2017

    A video posted by Asimina Tzatha (@asiminatzatha) on Dec 31, 2016 at 8:37am PST

    South Korea

    In Seoul, Boram Brian Kim took video of fireworks over the bustling streets of the South Korean capital. His favorite memory of 2016, he said, was “traveling in Europe and southeast Asia and getting to meet a lot of new people.”

    HAPPY NEW YEARS EVERYBODY! ! ! (Thanks Lyla) ##Korea #newyear#newyears#2017 . . . #food#foodie##travel###iamboramkim#fireworks#korean####daily####tbt#firework###follow##foodstagram#seoul#

    A video posted by Brian K. (@iamboramkim) on Dec 31, 2016 at 8:19am PST


    The palm trees and glass highrises of Brisbane City glowed under bursts of fireworks.
    In Melbourne, Instagram user Nathanael Campbell captured the magnificent, cacophonous crescendo that marked the end of 2016. Still, despite the impressive fireworks, he said: “I think winning my league bowling award in cricket was my highlight for 2016.”

    2017 #newyears #melbourne #fireworks

    A video posted by Nathanael Campbell (@ndacampbell) on Dec 31, 2016 at 6:44am PST

    And more spectacular fireworks erupted from the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and from barges on the water beneath.


    The evening’s pyrotechnics, a family display at 9 p.m. and a midnight show, included tributes to Prince — in the form of a shower of purple rain — and David Bowie, both of whom died in 2016.

    Celebrating the start of the new year in style! #happynewyear #2017 #sydneyfireworks

    A photo posted by Cate Elliott (@cate_elliott) on Dec 31, 2016 at 6:37am PST

    New Zealand

    One of the first to celebrate was New Zealand, where fireworks lit up the skies over Auckland’s Sky Tower.

    Happy new year everyone woo-hoo…. #2017 #letsgo

    A video posted by Bobby Kazemi (@bobbykazemi) on Dec 31, 2016 at 3:51am PST

    For those who can’t wait to see what 2017 holds, a dozen CNN commentators peered into a crystal ball to come up with their best guesses

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