New Year's celebrations from around the world

  • Participants run towards the sea as they take part in the annual New Year’s Day swim at Barry Island as several hundred swimmers marked start of 2016 by taking a dip in the sea in Whitmore Bay on Jan. 1, 2016 in Barry, Wales. Since 1984, when a group of five friends from the Jackson’s Bay life saving club decided that they would shake off their New Year’s hangovers with a swim in the sea, the annual swim has grown into one of the town’s most popular calendar events. 
  • Fireworks light up the sky over the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and the city skyline, Jan. 1, 2016, in San Francisco.
  • A group of Marines and Sailors sing in New York’s Times Square during the New Years Eve celebration, Dec. 31, 2015.
  • Fireworks light the sky over Copacabana beach during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Jan. 1, 2016.
  • In this photo taken with long exposure, fireworks light the sky above the medieval Mariendom or St. Mary’s Cathedral, right, and St. Severi’s Church shortly after midnight during the New Year celebrations in Erfurt, central Germany, Jan. 1, 2016.
  • Revellers gather near the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs Elysees Avenue in Paris, France, during New Year celebrations, late December 31, 2015.
  • Pope Francis speaks during a mass on New Year’s Day at Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Jan. 1, 2016.
  • A woman photographs her friend in front of the Great Pyramids illuminated for New Year’s Eve in Giza, near Cairo, Egypt late Dec. 31, 2015.
  • The Address Downtown Dubai hotel and residential block is seen engulfed by fire as fireworks explode over the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, during the New Year celebrations in Dubai Jan. 1, 2016.
  • A man lights firecrackers on the street during the New Year celebrations in Mumbai, India, Jan. 1, 2016.
  • Malaysians watch fireworks display in front of Malaysia’s landmark building, Petronas Twin Towers, during the New Year’s Eve celebration in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Jan. 1, 2016.
  • People celebrate the new year during a countdown event at Tai Miao, the imperial ancestral temple in the Forbidden City, in Beijing, China, Jan. 1, 2016.
  • A woman takes photographs of balloons released by people gathering to celebrate the new year during a countdown event in Seoul, South Korea, Jan. 1, 2016.
  • People watch the fireworks to celebrate the New Year at the Imjingak Pavilion near the border village of Panmunjom in Paju, South Korea, Jan. 1, 2016.
  • Peoples release balloons to celebrate the New Year with Tokyo Tower in the background in Tokyo, Jan. 1, 2016. Japan celebrated the start of 2016, the Year of the Monkey in the Japanese Zodiac.
  • Fireworks explode over the Opera House and Harbour Bridge during New Year’s Eve fireworks display in Sydney, Australia, Jan. 1, 2016.
  • A new year reveller receives a gift of sparklers as hundreds of partygoers await the first sunrise of the new year on Australia’s Bondi Beach in Sydney, Jan. 1, 2016.
  • A man poses for a picture next to New York Police Officers while they stand guard at Times Square before New Year’s Eve celebrations on Dec. 31, 2015 in New York City. At least 6,000 police officers has being deployed in one of the biggest security deployments made in the city, where rooftop snipers, canine units and air and water patrols will also be on duty around Times Square in what New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said “the best prepared city to prevent terrorism and to deal with any event that could occur.”
  • Young people take a selfie in front of decorations for New Year celebration in Tverskaya street in Moscow, Russia, Dec. 30, 2015.
  • A child wearing a bear fur growls while performing during a festival of New Year ritual dances attended by hundreds in Comanesti, northern Romania, Dec. 30 2015. In pre-Christian rural traditions, dancers wearing colored costumes or animal furs, toured from house to house in villages singing and dancing to ward off evil, in the present the tradition has moved to Romania’s cities too, where dancers travel to perform the ritual for money.
  • Nepalese Gurung community men and women wear traditional attire as they dance at a parade to mark their New Year known as “Tamu Loshar” in Kathmandu, Nepal, Dec. 30, 2015. The indigenous Gurungs, also known as Tamu, are celebrating the advent of the year of the monkey.

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As the clock struck 12 in 24 consecutive time zones first thing Friday, people around the world celebrated the beginning of 2016.

New Zealand, where it was summer, was the first country to ring in the new year. Australia followed soon after with a spectacular display of fireworks launched off Sydney’s Harbour Bridge. Across Europe and the United States, festivities were grand despite tightened security. In New York City, the 6-foot-wide Waterford Crystal ball dropped before an enormous crowd.

Take in the sights from this year’s parties in this collection of photographs from around the world.

For more feature photography, go to msnbc.com/photography

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