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Goodbye 2012... here comes 2013! Enjoy the New Year in these spectacular pictures as countries across the globe celebrate


The central Pacific Ocean island of Kiritimati (Christmas Island) and the eastern-most island in the island nation of Kiribati were the first to usher in the New Year at 10am GMT. But Sydney was the first major world city to welcome 2013 with a bang... and seven tons of fireworks (main picture above) at 1pm GMT. Eager revellers camped overnight on the shores of the harbour to get the best vantage points to see the show centred on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Happy New Year: Fireworks go off over Edinburgh Castle as part of the new year 2013 Edinburgh Hogmanay celebrations in Scotland

Dramatic: Fireworks explode during New Year celebrations over the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin

Major celebrations to welcome the new year have taken place in some of the world's most iconic locations throughout today.
Lavish and expensive fireworks lit up skylines in Sydney, Hong Kong and Shanghai and even the once-isolated country of Myanmar - also known as Burma - joined the countdown party for the first time in decades.
Celebrations have been planned for around the world, including the traditional crystal ball drop in New York City's Times Square, where 1 million people are expected to cram into the surrounding streets.

Spectacular: Fireworks light up the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin as the German city welcomed in the New year

Muted: Fireworks explode over the temple of the Parthenon during New Year celebrations in Athens

Optimistic: Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras promised Greeks that the worst of the financial crisis is past, and declared 2013 a 'year of hope'

Happy: Revellers write the number 2013 with sparklers during the Hogmanay street party celebrations in Edinburgh

Fireworks explode over and around the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House during New Year celebrations on January 1

Bright: The Sydney Harbour Bridge looks impressive surrounded by colourful fireworks

Colourful: Spectator boats in Sydney Harbour look on as the New Year's Eve fireworks erupt over the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Extravagant: Sydney's balmy summer night was lit up by 7 tons of fireworks which were fired from roof tops and barges, many cascading from the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Expensive: The firework display in Sydney cost 6.6 million Australian dollars

In a field in increasingly democratic Myanmar's largest city, Yangon, about 90,000 people experienced the country's first public New Year countdown, after almost five decades under military regimes that discouraged or banned big public gatherings.
'This is very exciting and also our first experience in celebrating the New Year at a big countdown gathering. We feel like we are in a different world,' said Yu Thawda, a university student who came with three of her friends.

In Russia, Moscow's iconic Red Square was this evening filled with spectators as fireworks exploded near the Kremlin to welcome in the new year. Earlier in the day, about 25 people were reportedly arrested in Moscow for trying to hold an unsanctioned demonstration.
But President Vladimir Putin gave an optimistic New Year's Eve address, making no reference to the anti-government protests that have occurred in his country in the past year.
'We believe that we can change the life around us and become better ourselves, that we can become more heedful, compassionate, gracious,' Putin said, according to the ITAR-Tass news agency.

Beautiful: Fireworks explode over St. Basil Cathedral in Moscow's Red Square

Looking forward: Russian President Vladimir Putin gave an optimistic New Year's Eve address, making no reference to the anti-government protests that have occurred in his country in the past year

Stunning: Fireworks illuminate the sky around Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, during celebrations in the Gulf emirate of Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Thrilling: Taiwan welcomes in the New Year with a fireworks display on the Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei

Bold: The tallest skyscraper in Taiwan was a fitting choice for this spectacular firework display

Earlier, the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai took up the baton with a spectacular display featuring multicolored fireworks dancing up and down the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.
In Hong Kong, tens of thousands of people lined the Victoria Harbor to view this year's 12.5 million Hong Kong dollar ($1.6 million) fireworks display, said to be the biggest ever in the southern Chinese city.
One day after dancing in the snow to celebrate the first anniversary of leader Kim Jong Un's ascension to supreme commander, North Koreans marked the arrival of the new year, marked as 'Juche 102' on North Korean calendars.

Incredible: A stunning lightshow illuminates the Summer Palace during a new year countdown event in Beijing

Fireworks explode in front of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre over the Victoria Harbour as celebrating the 2013 New Year in Hong Kong

Hong Kong went off with a bang to celebrate New Year with this spectacular fireworks display

Exciting: Fireworks explode near Malaysia's landmark Petronas Twin Towers during New Year celebrations in Kuala Lumpur

A man watches fireworks explode during New Year celebrations in Petaling Jaya, near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Jakarta's street party centres on a 7-kilometer (4-mile) thoroughfare closed to all traffic from nightfall until after midnight.
Workers erected 16 large stages along the normally car-clogged, eight-lane highway through the heart of the city. Indonesia's booming economy is a rare bright spot amid global gloom and is bringing prosperity - or the hope of it - to Indonesians.
In the Philippines, where many are recovering from devastation from a recent typhoon, health officials have hit upon a successful way to stop revelers from setting off huge illegal firecrackers that maim and injure hundreds of Filipinos each year.

Packed: Thousands of people flocked to the main business district to celebrate the New Year in Jakarta, Indonesia

Spectacular: Fireworks light up the sky over the Marina Bay in Singapore

Celebration: Fireworks light up the sky to welcome the New Year at the scenic Manila Bay in Manila, Philippines

Historic: People cheer loudly as they welcome the 2013 New Year at the first ever public New Year Countdown celebration at Myoma grounds in Yangon, Mayanmar - also known as Burma

Fun: People gather to release 1,000 balloons to celebrate the New Year's during an annual countdown ceremony in Tokyo

Original: The year 2013 is written with sparklers in front of the New Palace in Stuttgart, Germany

A health official, Eric Tayag, donned the splashy outfit of South Korean star PSY and danced to his Youtube hit 'Gangnam Style' video while preaching against the use of illegal firecrackers on TV, in schools and in public arenas.
'The campaign has become viral,' Tayag said.
Economic problems weighed down the festive atmosphere in Europe. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel's New Year message warned her country to prepare for difficult economic times ahead.

Pupils stand to form the shape of '2013' as they wait for the arrival of the new year at Jiujiang Elementary School in Jiangxi Province, China

Balinese dancers perform as they take part in a cultural parade during a New Year's Eve celebration

The traditional dance was held at a main road in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia

Colourful: Balinese dancers perform their traditional dance to welcome in 2013

The Cypriot capital, Nicosia, decided to cancel its New Year celebrations in light
of the economic crisis. Nicosia said 16,000 euros ($21,000) saved from the canceled event will be given to some 320 needy schoolchildren.
In Athens, fireworks over the ancient Acropolis will usher in 2013 - projected to be a sixth straight year of recession amid the country's worst economic crisis since World War II.
Still, In his televised New Year's Eve message, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras promised Greeks that the worst of the crisis is past, and declared 2013 a 'year of hope' that will see the beginning of the country's rebirth.

Father Frost (right) and his granddaughter (centre) take part in a New Year parade in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Father Frost is the Slavic culture equivalent of Santa Claus

Father Frost, pictured here in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, is the Slavic culture equivalent of Santa Claus

Celebrating New Year's Eve with a vespers service in in St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Benedict XVI said that despite all the death and injustice in the world, goodness prevails.
In his homily, Benedict said taking time to meditate in prolonged reflection and prayer can help 'find healing from the inevitable wounds of daily life.'
Scotland's Edinburgh, which traditionally hosts one of the biggest New Year's Eve parties in Europe, remains in good spirits. Organisers say that some 75,000 people are expected for the Scottish capital's Hogmanay - or year-end - celebrations.

Tourists pose as they carry umbrellas with numbers to welcome the New Year 2013 on the terrace of a hotel in the backdrop of Taj Mahal in Agra, India

Last sun of 2012: An Indian vendor sells balloons as the sun sets in Siliguri on December 31

An Indian vendor inflates balloons as the sunsets in Siliguri, West Bengal, India

Happy: Benjamin Nadorf, 4, plays with his new glasses while waiting for the New Year in Times Square in New York

Eager: Thousands have already arrived in Times Square, New York. An estimated 1 million people are expected to cram into the area to see the crystal ball drop

Indian artist Harwinder Singh Gill displays a sculpture in Amritsar on December 31

source: dailymail