Spectacular New Year fireworks light up London sky as huge crowds celebrate across UK for first time in three years | The Sun

NEW Year’s Eve fireworks have returned to London with a bang with the capital putting on a glittering display for the first time in three years.

Brits have braved the weather to watch the show in person after having to watch from home during the Covid pandemic.

Last year a drone show was broadcast near the city’s landmarks featuring a touching tribute to Sir Captain Tom Moore, who died in 2021.

Fireworks were also set off to ring in the New Year but no crowds were allowed – with thousands tuning in to watch on TV.

Tonight Big Ben bonged as a crowd of more than 100,000 people gathered along the Thames Embankment in central London to watch 12,000 fireworks streak across the sky.

The sold-out show was designed to send a message of "love and unity", as it highlighted the Lionesses' history-making Euro win at Wembley, marked 50 years of London's Pride with a message from Peter Tatchell from the Gay Liberation Front, and sent a message of support to Ukraine.


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The display also paid tribute to the late Queen, featuring a voice recording from her and words from Dame Judi Dench, before honouring the King, together with a message from Charles about the need to preserve our planet's future.

Complete with music that included Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline, Ukrainian Eurovision winner Kalush Orchestra, and hits from Stormzy, Dua Lipa, Cher, Dave, Rihanna and Calvin Harris, the show concluded with the traditional Auld Lang Syne.

The year before the show was cancelled by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan due to fears that people would congregate in the capital during the pandemic.

While other parts of England also celebrated with fireworks, the North Yorkshire seaside town of Scarborough did not.

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An Arctic walrus, believed to be "Thor" – who was spotted on the Hampshire coastline earlier this month, arrived in the harbour earlier in the day.

Scarborough Borough Council cancelled the fireworks display on the advice of British Divers Marine Life Rescue after the organisation expressed concerns that it could cause "distress" to the mammal.

In a village further down the coast in East Yorkshire, re-enactors took part in the Flamborough Fire Festival in a Viking-themed parade.

In Newcastle, for the second year running, crowds were treated to a showcase of lasers rather than fireworks as council heads deemed it safer and more environmentally friendly.

In Scotland 30,000 people tonight filled the streets of Edinburgh as the Hogmanay celebrations returned after the Covid hiatus.

The Pet Shop Boys are headlining the capital’s events while thousands of the people partied in the streets.

Neil Tennant, of the Pet Shop Boys, said: "It's a really exciting show to play, when you get here you realise Hogmanay is a big deal in Edinburgh.

"We played it first nine years ago and it was just a fantastic audience, it's an amazing site with the castle above you and everyone's there to have a good time." Revellers were able to become part of the Hogmanay show with illuminated LED wristbands which connected to the music played during the show.

Eurovision star Sam Ryder is performing on Jools Holland’s Hootenanny alongside George Ezra and Self Esteem.

Sam Ryder said on his Instagram yesterday: "Happy wet and windy New Year's Eve! Whether you've had a year to celebrate or one that you feel ready to move on from, let go of and start fresh, we're all going one way and that's forward, so we might as well all go there together."

Earlier in the day thousands of Australians gathered at Sydney’s harbour to welcome in the New Year.

The impressive pyrotechnics in front of the Sydney Opera House was also the first time crowds had been able to celebrate since 2019.

New Zealanders had been among the first to ring in 2023 with a stunning display over Sky Tower in central Auckland.

The Burj Khalifa – the tallest building in the world – was the centre of firework displays in Dubai as celebrations return around the world after Omicron dampened last year’s events.

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Despite an ongoing Covid outbreak, thousands gathered in the streets of Wuhan, China, and released balloons to welcome in 2023.

Hong Kong’s famous skyline provided a backdrop to a stunning firework display with a huge 2023 projected onto a building over Victoria Harbour.

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