News / Asia

New Year Revelers Celebrate Around the Globe

Fireworks Display Lights Up Australia's Sydney Harbori
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.

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