New Year’s Eve: countdown to 2013 – As it happened

 

 

New Year's Eve fireworks erupt over the Sydney Harbour Bridge
New Year’s Eve fireworks erupt over the Sydney Harbour Bridge Photograph: Manan Vatsyayana /AFP/Getty

Glorify this year 2012 as a year of proud victory, a year when an era of prosperity is unfolding, true to the instructions of the great General Kim Jong Il.

North Koreans in Pyongyang play with a balloon as they wait outside Pyongyang stadium for the countdown to the new year.
North Koreans in Pyongyang play with a balloon as they wait outside Pyongyang stadium for the countdown to the new year. Photograph: Kim Kwang Hyon/AP
Australia

The balmy summer night in Sydney was split by 7 tons of fireworks fired from rooftops and barges, many cascading from the city’s Harbor Bridge, in a $6.9 million pyrotechnic extravaganza billed by organizers as the world’s largest.

The Sydney crowds were undiminished by Australian government warnings that the Washington deadlock on the U.S. debt crisis was partly to blame for a slowing Australian economy. Kylie Minogue hosted the event.

Burma

After nearly five decades under military regimes that discouraged or banned big public gatherings, about 90,000 people experienced the country’s first New Year’s Eve countdown in a field in the largest city of Yangon.

“We feel like we are in a different world,” said Yu Thawda, a university student who came with three of her friends.

Indonesia

Jakarta’s street party centered on a 7-kilometer (4-mile) thoroughfare closed to traffic from nightfall until after midnight. Workers erected 16 large stages along the normally clogged, eight-lane highway through the heart of the city.

Philippines.

In a country 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.

A health official, Eric Tayag, donned the 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.

Balloons are released to celebrate the New Year during an annual countdown ceremony in Tokyo
Balloons are released to celebrate the New Year during an annual countdown ceremony in Tokyo Photograph: Kazuhiro Nogi / AFP/Getty
Fireworks explode near Malaysia's iconic Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur
Fireworks explode near Malaysia’s iconic Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur Photograph: Zuma/Rex Features
President Barack Obama speaks about the fiscal cliff at the White House in Washington
President Barack Obama speaks about the fiscal cliff at the White House in Washington Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP

The Americans might be sweating about their economy, but thank god they haven’t taken their eye of the ball back in the engine room of the eurozone.

It seems that more than one million people are expected at the Brandenburg Gate New Year’s Eve Party in Berlin to dance Gangnam Style in an attempt to creat a new flash mob world record.

The previous record stands at 80 000 people apparently.

Updated at 8.38pm GMT

London Tower Bridge Fireworks! Happy new year England!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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