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World welcomes New Year 2013

Jan 1 (): It is New Year 2013. Celebrations have kicked off all over the world. It is known that the South Pacific nations are the first to greet each New Year in view of its proximity to the International Date Line.

The central Pacific Ocean island of Kiritimati (Christmas Island) and the eastern-most island in the island nation of Kiribati were the first to see the New Year at 1000 GMT.

New Zealand’s main city of Auckland became one of the very few first to celebrate the New Year. As soon as the clock struck midnight (11:00 GMT, 7 a.m. ET), huge fireworks sparked over the the city’s 328-metre Sky Tower near the harbour and the occasion was attended by mammoth gathering of people.

Major cities like Sydney, Shanghai, Berlin and Dubai have marked the start of 2013 with huge displays of fireworks.

In Sydney, about 1.5 million people are estimated to have turned out to watch the event with more than 100,000 colourful sparkling firework patterns on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, costing £4.2m.

In Dubai, the firework show had three elements – light, water and fire and projections on a 210-metre long screen.

In Hong Kong, $1.6-million US fireworks display is billed by organizers as the biggest ever in the southern Chinese city.

In Japan, the temple bells were struck 108 times all over Japan to indicate the beginning of a prosperous New Year.

The New Year celebration was quiet in some places.

Many European nations decided to draw back from the street parties and festivities for 2013 which is estimated to be a sixth straight year of recession amidst Greece’s worst economic crisis.

The festive mood in New Delhi has been muted following the death of a young rape victim which has led to days of protests and mourning. Hotels, clubs and residents’ associations decided to cancel the planned festivities and asked people to light candles to express their solidarity.

New Year Celebrations were planned in New York in a grand manner, with hundreds of thousands expected to fill Times Square in New York City to watch the drop of a Waterford crystal-studded ball.

Canada is featuring celebrity musical acts at popular partying locations such as Toronto’s downtown Nathan Phillips Square outside city hall, and Queen Victoria Park in Niagara Falls, Ontario.