But it did not stop tens of thousands lining the River Thames to watch a fireworks display with one very clear message after the country voted to leave the European Union: "London is open." It also failed to dampen spirits in Paris, where about 500,000 people poured into the Champs-Elysees, where the Arc de Triomphe was lit up with a colourful countdown and the word "welcome" in dozens of languages.
But the 17,000 police officers on duty in the Turkish city of Istanbul were unable to prevent an attack on a nightclub less than two hours into 2017, which left at least 39 dead.
Pacific islands including Samoa, Tonga and Kiribati were the first to enter 2017 at 10:00 GMT, followed an hour later by Auckland, where fireworks erupted from the 328m (1,080ft) tall Sky Tower in the city centre.
On Friday a man in Sydney was charged in connection with threats made against Sydney's New Year's Eve celebrations.
A "leap second" was added to the countdown just before midnight in countries in the GMT timezone, such as the UK, to compensate for a slowdown in the Earth's rotation.