Sydney on New Year's Eve, when fireworks light up the sky above the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, is a trip people around the world dream about making.
This year, thanks to an enterprising Australian offering to pack people's ashes into fireworks and send them skywards in rockets, even the dead can be there among the pyrotechnics.
“We're expecting lots of bookings for people on New Year's Eve,” said Craig Hull, proprietor of Ashes to Ashes, a company that scatters loved ones' ashes in a way that it said is aimed at celebrating their lives.
The company's inaugural launch was set for Thursday. First up would be the ashes of a dog called Gypsy, followed later this month with the remains of the first human.
“We'll actually do anything - dogs, cat, budgerigars,” Hull said. “Hey, we'll do goldfish.”
Each shell is made to order, and customers can choose colours and how loud the bang should be.
Hull, a 48-year-old professional pyrotechnician with plenty of New Year's Eve experience, is keen to go out with a bang himself.
“I'm booked in, and I'll be pretty big,” he said. “I was talking to my dad the other day, and he definitely wants to go up.” - Sapa-dpa