News / USA

    New Year Celebrated Around the World

    World to 2013: So Long!i
    X
    December 31, 2013 7:53 PM
    It’s the last day of 2013… depending on where you live. Parts of the far, far East already have turned their calendars to 2014, while the Western World and the United States await their turn. Arash Arabasadi has more for VOA from Washington, where the party is still hours away.
    Watch related video from VOA's Arash Arabasadi
    VOA News
    Major cities across the world celebrated the beginning of 2014 with fireworks and music, ringing in the new year with record setting celebrations and good spirit.

    About a million New York City revelers braved frigid temperatures and high security, waiting hours in Times Square for a giant Waterford crystal ball to drop at the stroke of midnight.

    With neither the current nor the incoming New York City mayor present to push the button to start the ball drop, the honors were performed by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a New York native.

    The city of Nashville, Tennessee dropped a giant music note at midnight, while the city of Vincennes, Indiana dropped 14 watermelons in tribute to 2014. From space, the crew of the International Space Station -- two Americans and a Japanese crew member -- sent their greetings to Times Square and the rest of the world via a video from NASA.

    In Pasadena, California, people celebrated the stroke of midnight while camped out on the street along the route for the annual Rose Parade. The parade is followed Wednesday by the Rose Bowl, one of several post-season college football games played on New Year.

    Elsewhere, crowds gathered in public spaces around the world to ring in the new year, massing in Moscow, Dubai, London, New York and other major cities ahead of their midnight celebrations.

    London's partiers were treated to edible banana-flavored confetti as they watched fireworks over Trafalgar Square.

    Dubai created what it called the world's fireworks show, igniting 400,000 fireworks that aimed to set a new world record, besting last year's record of 77,000 in Kuwait.



    Fireworks erupted from Auckland's Sky Tower as people danced in the streets of New Zealand's biggest city.

    In Sydney, Australia, more than a million people watched fireworks launched for the first time in more than a decade from the sails of the city's famed waterfront opera house. Billowing fireworks soared over Hong Kong's skyscrapers.

    In Japan, some celebrated by eating noodles and seafood -- thought to bring good luck in 2014 -- and offering prayers at Buddhist shrines and temples.

    Celebrations were somewhat muted in the Philippines, where officials say about 260 people were injured by fireworks or stray bullets in the days leading up to New Year's Eve.

    The mood also was somber in areas still recovering from Haiyan, a November typhoon that killed thousands of people.

    Cape Town, South Africa, had a particularly poignant celebration, which included a tribute to anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela, who died December 5.

    • Pro-European Union activists hold lights as they sing the Ukrainian national anthem, celebrating the New Year in Kyiv, Ukraine, Jan. 1, 2014.
    • A boy wears a holiday mask as he and other children hang around a group of French soldiers on New Year's Day, Bangui, Central African Republic, Jan. 1, 2014.
    • Nicole Tacher, 11, lays in confetti on a hotel balcony as the new year is celebrated, Times Square, New York City, New York, Jan. 1, 2014.
    • A man with a New Year's hat attends the annual New Year's Berliner Seehunde (Berlin Seals) swim at Oranke Lake, Berlin, Germany, Jan. 1, 2014.
    • Sikh devotees throng to the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, Jan. 1, 2014.
    • A Chinese man burns incense while offering prayers on the first day of the new year at the Yonghegong Lama Temple, Beijing, China, Jan. 1, 2014.
    • Pakistani Christians attend a prayer service on the first day of the new year at a local church in Lahore, Pakistan, Jan. 1, 2014.
    • Bolivian dancers perform on the Champs Elysees to celebrate the new year, Paris, France, Jan. 1, 2014,
    • Argentine-born Maestro Daniel Barenboim, center, conducts the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra during the traditional New Year's concert at the Golden Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna, Austria, Jan. 1, 2014.
    • Indian families enjoy a ride on decorated horse carts on the first day of the new year, Kolkata, India, Jan. 1, 2014.
    • People stand in line to offer new year prayers at Sensoji temple, Tokyo, Japan, Jan. 1, 2014. 
    • Fireworks light up the sky as onlookers welcome the new year, Manila, Philippines, Jan. 1, 2014.
    • Performers gather for a group photo after the end of a New Year's Eve countdown to 2014, Beijing, China,  Jan. 1, 2014. 
    • Fireworks explode over Victoria Harbor and Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center during a pyrotechnic show to celebrate the new year in Hong Kong, Jan. 1, 2014. 
    • Crowds celebrate at midnight on New Year's 2014 at Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada, Jan. 1, 2014.
    • A professional diver holds a "Welcome 2014" banner while swimming next to a stingray during New Year's Eve celebrations inside a large aquarium at an ocean park, Manila, Philippines, Dec. 31, 2013. 
    • A man leads his horse past a message left by a visitor on New Year's Eve, along Clifton Beach, Karachi, Pakistan, Dec. 31, 2013. 
    • Lights and lasers illuminate the Great Wall of China to celebrate the new year before the countdown event at the Badaling section of the Great Wall, Beijing, China, Dec. 31, 2013. 

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora