Cities worldwide welcomed 2023 with stunning fireworks and light displays (Credit: Marco Verch Professional/ CC-BY-SA-2.0 /Flickr)

As is the tradition each year, at midnight on December 31st, 2022, cities and towns worldwide ushered in the new year with elaborate fireworks displays. Here are a few that were particularly noteworthy.

Sydney, Australia

Sydney is one of the first major cities to welcome the new year. The city's officials mark the occasion by staging two shows annually. The first fireworks display occurs at 9:00 pm. This enables families with young kids to enjoy the festivities early.

The second, more extravagant, celebration takes place at midnight. This year, over a million spectators flocked to the city center to admire the almost eight-minute-long colorful display. It featured over 7,000 fireworks launched from the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and another 2,000 from the nearby Opera House. The $4.76 million extravaganza was broadcast live on television. It was watched by over half a billion people worldwide.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi's New Year celebrations broke four world records. The spectacular, 40-minute-long fireworks display set new records for duration, volume and formation. The fourth record was for the largest-ever quick response, or QR, code formed by the 3,000 drones that lit up the skies in vibrant colors for 20 minutes.

London, England

London ushered in 2023 with Europe's biggest fireworks and drone display. More than 100,000 people braved the dreary wet weather to gather along the River Thames to watch the 12,000 fireworks light up the sky. The 12-minute show also paid tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II and honored King Charles III.

International Space Station (ISS)

The astronauts aboard the International Space Station celebrated the holidays with Santa hats, streamers, and even an adapted Christmas tree. They did not get to see spectacular fireworks. But since the ISS circles Earth every 90 minutes, they did witness 16 gorgeous sunrises and sunsets on New Year's Eve.

Happy New(s) Year!