New York brought in the new year with a huge celebration in Times Square, as the United States became one of the last countries to welcome in 2013.
The crowd of nearly 1 million revelers counted down the final seconds of 2012 as a brightly-lit 6-ton Waterford crystal ball descended high above the square, then flashed "2013."
Nations across Europe, the Middle East and Asia had already welcomed in the new year as celebrations unfolded around the globe.
Fireworks lit up the sky over dozens of cities to celebrate the arrival of 2013, including festivities in Athens, Moscow and London.
Dubai marked the new year with a light show at the world's tallest building, while in Italy, Pope Benedict visited the nativity scene in St. Peter's Square.
Asian countries were the first to ring in the new year with big fireworks displays in Sydney and Hong Kong.
Burma's largest city, Rangoon, staged a large New Year's Eve party for the first time, as the country emerges from a decades-long military dictatorship that typically banned large public gatherings.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.
In the southern Philippines, the festive mood was overshadowed by the devastation from a typhoon that killed more than 1,000 people in early December.
And in India, many hotels and bars scaled down or canceled New Year's Eve parties out of respect for a young woman who died Saturday after she was gang raped in New Delhi -- a brutal incident that has shocked the nation.
Many hotels and bars in India scaled down or canceled New Year's Eve parties out of respect for a young woman who died Saturday after she was gang raped in New Delhi -- a brutal incident that shocked the nation.