News / Asia

New Year Revelers Celebrate Around the Globe

Fireworks Display Lights Up Australia's Sydney Harbori
X
December 31, 2012 4:33 PM
A gigantic fireworks display has lit up Sydney harbor as Australia's east coast and other Pacific nations become the first to welcome the new year.
Fireworks Display Lights Up Australia's Sydney Harbor
VOA News

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. 

  • Revelers wear 2013-style glasses as they celebrate the new year in Beijing on December 31, 2012.
  • Tatiana Rakotovazaha, from Madagascar, foreground left, Aurielle Williams, from Kansas, center, and Yayoi Okayama, from Japan, foreground right, dance as they take part in the New Year's Eve festivities in New York's Times Square on Dec. 31, 2012.
  • Psy performs in Times Square during New Year's Eve celebrations on Dec. 31, 2012 in New York.
  • Gary Marion, a female impersonator known as Sushi, hangs in an oversized replica of a women's red high heel over Duval Street, late Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, at the Bourbon Street Pub Complex in Key West, Fla
  • Fireworks explode over Elizabeth Tower housing the Big Ben clock to celebrate the New Year in London, Jan. 1, 2013.
  • Revelers celebrate the New Year on the Champs Elysee in Paris, Jan. 1, 2013.
  • Fireworks explode in the sky over St. Basil Cathedral as Russians celebrate New Year on Red Square in Moscow, Russia, on Jan. 1, 2013.
  • Lebanese children celebrate the New Year during a countdown event in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Jan. 1, 2013.
  • A young woman prepares for New Year's Eve at an event at Bar Beach on Victoria Island in Lagos, Nigeria, on Dec. 31, 2012.
  • Fireworks explode at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center over the Victoria Harbor, January 1, 2013.
  • Fireworks explode over and around the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House during new year celebrations in Australia, January 1, 2013.
  • Fireworks explode on the rooftops of buildings during a show prior to the new year celebrations in Sydney, Australia, December 31, 2012.
  • Fireworks explode around the Opera House during New Year's Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, December 31, 2012.
  • A security guard stands behind a signboard at Burma's first public new year countdown celebrations, Rangoon, December 31, 2012.
  • Tourists pose as they carry umbrellas with numbers to welcome the new year on the terrace of a hotel near the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, December 31, 2012.
  • A worker roasts a row of pigs, known as locally as "lechon", to be served during new year celebrations, Manila, Philippines, December 31, 2012.
  • An Indian barber gives finishing touches to the hair style of a young boy with numbers to welcome the New Year 2013 in Ahmadabad, India, December 31, 2012.

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.

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.


Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs