Looking beyond rising political tensions in the dying days of this past year, Bangladeshis have welcomed in the year 2015 noisily with fireworks and parties.
Firework display lit up the capital’s sky at the stroke of midnight on Wednesday when people came out to celebrate amid heightened security and Jamaat-e-Islami’s two-day general strike.
Dhaka University’s TSC was the traditional hotspot of celebrations for the youths who descended on the streets with fireworks displays and live music.
The outsiders, for whom the campus was out of bounds since late afternoon, sneaked in there around noon and joined in the revelling.
People also thronged the hotspots in Dhanmondi, Gulshan, Banani and Baridhara amid a ban on New Year party or concert in open places.
The capital’s new recreation haunt Hatirjheel saw spectacular fireworks to wow those those gathered.
Revellers filled key streets in towns and cities beating drums and DJs setting the beat to transform them into party venues. Festive spirit filled the neighbourhoods in town and cities from the New Year’s Eve.
Many set off the traditional fire crackers. There were no immediate reports of violence and casualties.
Security was ramped up in posh hotels and clubs.
In Dhaka, major hotels including Radisson, Sonargaon and The Westin organised overnight parties for revellers.
Clubbers flocked to Dhaka Club, Gulshan Club and Uttara Club to spend one of their their busiest nights.
DMP braced for intensive security measures to stop people from going overboard and to ensure that it is a hassle-free sail into the New Year.
Some city roads were relatively quiet.
Many celebrated the New Year partying with friends and relatives at home.
Bangladesh rang in the new year after Australia, Japan and South East Asian countries.
According to media reports, more than 10,000 aerial fireworks, 25,000 shooting comets and 100,000 pyrotechnic effects were used during the annual Sydney Harbour New Year’s Eve show to usher in the new year. An estimated 1.6 million people watched the events from along the harbour foreshore.
People in Hong Kong also welcomed 2015 with overwhelming fireworks display at the Victoria Harbour.
Japan welcomed the new year through prayers at shrines.
European and African countries were doing last-minute preparations to welcome and celebrate the new year.
A New Year-eve bash hosted by Madhu’s, one of UK’s leading event management companies, brought together revelers from across Britain’s multi-ethnic society at Lancaster Hotel near Hyde Park in central London.
But there was bad news from China with the state media reporting a stampede in Shanghai during the New Year celebrations that left at least 35 people dead and 42 others injured.
There were little to celebrate in Indonesia where the country is mourning the death of 155 Indonesians in the AirAsia plane crash.