After a turbulent year marred by terror woes, Ebola outbreaks, and a horrific series of airline disasters, many could be forgiven for saying good riddance to 2014 and gratefully ringing in a new year. Across the globe, revelers looking for a respite from the gloom will converge to welcome 2015. Up first: Down Under. Sydney takes pride in being one of the first major cities in the world to welcome each new year, and it greeted 2015 in its trademark glittery fashion—with a tropical-style fireworks display featuring shimmering gold and silver palm tree pyrotechnic effects. More than 1.5 million revelers crowded the shores of the city's famed harbor in warm summer weather to watch the vivid eruption of light over the Harbour Bridge, Opera House, and other points along the water. In New Zealand, a giant clock on Auckland's landmark Sky Tower counted down the minutes until the New Year, with a huge fireworks display launching from the tower at midnight.
It's too late now, but if you want to try to celebrate midnight in every time zone next year, Philip Bump has an extremely complicated (think 1,429 words and lots of graphics) piece on how to do just that in the Washington Post. The "easy" way: Fly to Amundsen-Scott Station and orbit the South Pole. Barring that, you'd have to have access to a military jet and/or an aircraft carrier in order to hit very many of the 24 time zones in such a short period of time; if all you have access to is a regular ol' car, you can probably only hit a maximum of three. If you're more interested in how various regions are marking the occasion this year, click here. (Read more New Year's Eve stories.)