Across the globe, the new year is often greeted with dazzling fireworks displays lighting up waterfronts and city landmarks. This year, some cities set out to best their previous records for pyrotechnic shows and usher in 2015 with more explosions and lights than ever. In Sydney, more than 1.5 million revelers crowded around the famed harbor at midnight to watch a 12-minute fireworks display light up the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and other attractions along the water, according to the Associated Press. Below are some of the world's most famous fireworks shows taking place Wednesday to bid goodbye to 2014:

In Brazil, a massive fireworks display was expected to entertain more than 1 million people gathered at Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana Beach. The annual party draws tourists and locals dressed in all white, a Brazilian New Year's tradition signaling purification and a peaceful year.

RTX16YL8 People watch fireworks exploding over Copacabana beach during New Year celebrations at the Pavao Pavaozinho slum in Rio de Janeiro, January 1, 2014. Photo: Reuters

The emirate of Dubai sought Wednesday to break the world record for the largest LED-illuminated facade. Last year, Dubai set the world record for the largest fireworks display, with 479,651 shells fired in just six minutes on New Year's Eve. Kuwait previously held the Guinness World Records title with an hour-long show of 77,282 fireworks in November 2011.

RTX16YBK Fireworks explode in the sky over Dubai, January 1, 2014, during an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the ‘Largest Firework Display’. Photo: Reuters

Las Vegas will release fireworks along its famous strip from the MGM Grand, Aria, Planet Hollywood, Caesars Palace, Treasure Island, Venetian and Stratosphere casinos. In all, roughly 80,000 pyrotechnic devices are expected to be released from the rooftops over the Strip. “We are going to welcome 2015 as only Las Vegas can with parties and fireworks across the city,” Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman said in a statement.

RTX16YVR Fireworks explode over Las Vegas Strip casinos just after midnight in Las Vegas, Nevada January 1, 2014. An estimated 335,000 tourists are expected to visit Las Vegas for the New Year's festivities. Photo: Reuters

Scotland's famous New Year's Eve celebration involves fireworks and a torchlight procession. The event, known as Hogmanay, is held in Edinburgh and draws roughly 8,000 people. A midnight fireworks display will greet 2015, followed by the traditional mass performance of "Auld Lang Syne," according to the BBC.

RTR4JQDK Spectators on boats are silhouetted as fireworks shower down from the Sydney Harbour Bridge during the annual fireworks display to usher in the new year, early January 1, 2015. 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, with an estimated 1.6 million people watching from along the harbour foreshore, local media reported. Photo: Reuters