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Americans Mark New Year Relaxing

Many Americans are spending the first day of 2010 recovering from New Year's celebrations by watching American football games and a traditional parade of flowers on television.

U.S. President Barack Obama started the New Year with a greeting to the nation. He acknowledged 2009 "was difficult for many Americans" but vowed "brighter days are ahead."

He said although Americans face great challenges, they have the courage and determination to rise up and meet them.

In the U.S. state of California, floral floats (motorized platforms), horses and marching bands wound their way down a main avenue in the city of Pasadena.

The 101-year-old Rose Parade is famous for its whimsical landscapes, animals and popular icons created by thousands of flowers, seeds, bark and other natural material.

On Friday, hundreds of thousands of people braved frigid temperatures to ring in the New Year in New York City's Times Square.

Revelers cheered as the traditional crystal ball dropped down a 23-meter-long pole during the last minute of 2009.

New York police were out in force after a failed Christmas Day attack on a U.S. airliner rekindled security fears. Authorities swept the area with biological and radiation detection equipment.