The Millennium celebrations were a worldwide, coordinated series of events celebrating New Year's Eve in 1999–2000, marking the end of the second millennium and beginning of the new, third millennium. This also marks the ending of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century. Many countries held official festivities in the weeks and months leading up to the millennium, such as those organised in the USA by the White House Millennium Council, and most major cities produced firework displays at midnight. Equally, many private venues, cultural and religious centres held events and a diverse range of memorabilia was created – such as souvenir postage stamps.
As with every New Year's Eve, many events were timed with the "stroke of midnight" at the timezone of the location. There were also many events associated with the dawn on 1 January. While there was debate over whether the millennium truly begins in 2000 or 2001 the popularity of the round number made New Year's 1999–2000 a global celebration. An international television broadcast called 2000 Today was produced by a consortium of 60 broadcasters, while an alternative program Millennium Live was cancelled two days before the event.
Some countries in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and hence close to the International Date Line engaged in "Millennium politics" to argue they were the first to enter the new millennium. Variously, the Chatham Islands, New Zealand, Tonga, Fiji and Kiribati all laid debatable claims to the status – by moving the dateline itself, institution of daylight savings and claiming "first territory", "first land", "first inhabited land" or "first city".
- 1 Events
- 2 See also
- 3 References
Sydney, hosts of the 2000 Summer Olympics, held a large fireworks display centering on the Harbour Bridge with the locally famous graffito Eternity being recreated. For the first time in its history, the Sydney Opera House precinct was almost completely cordoned off from the public. Instead, tickets costing as much as $2000 each were being sold for Opera House parties. However, public transport and access was available to view the fireworks on the Bridge, which included the "waterfall" effect.
In Tokyo, there were a series of concerts and a fireworks display. At midnight, temple bells across Japan were rung 108 times to "dispel the evils of mankind".
In the Philippines, Millennium Parties simultaneously began in different parts of the Country. President Joseph Estrada and top Government Officials joined the celebrations at the Rizal Park (which was broadcast on ABS-CBN) while in the Ayala Millennium Center, Regine Velasquez sang the Philippine Millennium Theme Song, "Written in the Sand" at the top of the Peninsula Manila at about ten minutes to Philippine Midnight as part of the 10-minute window on the Philippines in the 2000 Today (Global Millennium Day Broadcasts on GMA)
Moscow's Government and its National Government had sponsored parties across the city. They all celebrated as the Spasskaya Tower ring in the New Millennium
Rio de Janeiro held a special party led by Gal Costa at minutes to midnight. South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands became the first place in the Americas to celebrate the millennium but with no person on it, all of the British inhabits chose to spend the midnight celebrations back at GMT time
In Newfoundland and Labrador a concert was held that was broadcast to thousands of Canadians as the small island celebrated being the first place in North America to welcome the twenty-first century. Meanwhile, in Bermuda celebrations were marked as the first Caribbean nation to crossover to the new millennium reached it highest at midnight.
In Ottawa, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien presided over celebrations on Parliament Hill, which included artistic performances and a midnight fireworks display launched from the Peace Tower.
U.S. President Bill Clinton watched with thousands of spectators in Washington, D.C. as the Washington Monument lit up at midnight. Washington was also the world's largest Y2K command center despite GMT being the coordinated time zone.
Hawaiian celebrations were centered in Honolulu. The party was headed by the Governor and his family.
- "2000: World celebrates New Millennium". On This Day: January 1. BBC. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
- "A pointer to celebrations". Asia week.com. CNN. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- "Stamp issue – Millennium Firsts". Posterity Post. Chatham Islands Postal Service. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- Aimee, Harris (1999). "Millenium: Date Line Politics". Honolulu magazine (August ed.): 20. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
- "Japan Holds Traditional, Millennium Celebrations". Orlando Sentinel. 1 January 2000. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- Rivera, Larry (1 January 2000). "Into the New Millennium". Australia Travel. About.com. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
- Beale, Jonathan (31 December 1999). "Celebrating on Chatham Island". BBC. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- Dennis, Anthony (1 January 2000). "Millennium dawns". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Digital. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
- "Video of Sydney Millennium fireworks". YouTube. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
- "ET1". Youtube. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- "The Twelve Dreams of the Sun was a concert by Jean Michel Jarre". YouTube. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
- "The Eiffel Tower's Illuminations". Société d'Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel. Retrieved 31 May 2014.
- "2000 Arrives – London, England". Youtube. ABC. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- Branswell, Brenda; DeMont, John; Wood, Chris; Phillips, Andrew; Came, Barry; Fennell, Tom; Bergman, Brian; Geddes, John (January 10, 2000). "New Year Celebrations and No Y2K Disasters". Maclean's. The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
- "Year 2000 arrives in Central Canada". CBC Archives. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
- Kelley, Tina (30 December 1999). "There's Another Countdown Before the Famed '10, 9, 8 . . .'". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 October 2015.