WATCH: Worldwide party kicks off as 2019 arrives

People across the world are gearing up to see in the New Year as the final hours of 2018 pass by.

New Zealand, 12 hours ahead of Malta, has already welcomed in 2019 with an impressive fireworks display in Auckland, before standout displays in Sydney, Hong Kong and Taipai.

Valletta, Berlin, London, Rome and New York are among the other cities ready to usher in the New Year with style.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations at one of the world’s biggest street parties.

Organisers said this year’s events celebrate the ties between Scotland and Europe as the UK prepares to leave the EU in 2019.

Bands, DJs, street performers, dancers, acrobats and fire eaters from Scotland and mainland Europe will be performing, with Franz Ferdinand among the headline acts.

 

A thunderstorm drenched tens of thousands of people as they gathered for Sydney’s traditional spectacular fireworks display, creating a show of its own with dozens of lightning strikes.

A mini firework display at 9pm local time kicked off celebrations a little early with youngsters in mind, before the proper midnight display.

Police estimated that more than a million people would crowd Sydney Harbour to view the glittering fireworks.

People began gathering early in the day at popular vantage points, including the Opera House and the ends of the Harbour Bridge.

Tens of thousands gathered around Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city, as fireworks exploded from the top of the 1,076ft structure.

Across the Commonwealth nation, thousands took to beaches and streets, becoming among the first in the world to usher in 2019.

Fireworks boomed and crackled above city centres and harbours.

Snoop Dogg, Sting and Christina Aguilera will be among the performers at a packed Times Square in New York City.

Revellers from around the world are set to come and see the traditional crystal ball drop in the Big Apple.

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