Watch: New Zealand enters 2023 with fireworks displays
The Pacific nation of Kiribati became the first country to greet the new year, with the clock ticking into 2023 one hour ahead of neighbours including New Zealand. New Zealand also ushered in the New Year with fireworks and a massive light show.
In Auckland, large crowds gathered below the Sky Tower, where a 10-second countdown to midnight preceded a fireworks display to welcome the new year. The celebrations in New Zealand's largest city were huge after Covid-19 forced them to be cancelled a year ago.
Tonga, Samoa, and Kiribati welcome the New Year first, followed by New Zealand. Different countries will welcome at different moments as the Sun rises in the east and the day comes late to the west due to Earth’s rotation, which causes a difference in the time zones.
The uninhabited Howland and Baker Islands are the last to welcome the New Year. The islands, near the United States, will welcome the New Year at 12 pm GMT (5:30 pm IST on January 1).