Like previous years, this time too Australia's biggest city led the world in welcoming the New Year with spectacular fireworks over Sydney Harbour.

Fireworks light on Wednesday night lit up the Sydney Opera House during an early light show.

An estimated 1.5 million people gathered to watch glittering gold and silver palm trees.

More than 10,000 aerial fireworks, 25,000 shooting comets and 100,000 pyrotechnic effects were used during the annual Sydney Harbour New Year's Eve show.

And a tribute was paid to two people who died during the Sydney Lindt café siege in December.

Across Asia, millions partied with Hong Kong’s dazzling skyline along Victoria Harbour set to light up during an eight-minute pyrotechnic display.

In Taiwan, the landmark skyscraper Taipei 101 was the center of celebrations, with performances by pop singers and a firework display at midnight.

In Japan, the Meiji Jingu shrine in Tokyo brought out stocks of lucky charms and set up large offertory boxes as it prepared to welcome a huge wave of worshipers overnight.