thought this could be once upon the stroke of midnight.
a few minutes past midnight. Does it really matter? It's all perception and people look at their watches and celebrate accordingly. So some scream 5 minutes earlier, some a moment later.
And tomorrow the sun will rise like any other day - no, not quite - that's the magic of it - if you wake up for the sunrise you will sense the newness of the year. Although that too is a perception: if you woke up every day for every sunrise, you will sense the newness of the (each?) day. THAT is spectacular but most people miss it, thank God, otherwise we'd have godawful crackers going off every midnight (give or take 5 minutes.