Europe, US, other nations celebrate New Year with gusto, fireworks

Posted By: Nairita Das
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London/New York, Jan.1 (ANI): People from all walks of life celebrated the beginning of the new year with gusto and fireworks in Europe, the United States and in other parts of the world.

In London, for example, a quarter of a million people gathered at the riverside for a spectacular display of glittering fireworks, bright lights and music around the London Eye, while thousands also gathered for Hogmanay street parties in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

London's display featured fireworks made by a British firm for the first time, with the show set to music provided by Radio 1 DJ Nihal.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said the "dazzling" display would capture the "dynamism, colour and energy" of the city in front of an expected 250,000 people along the River Thames.

The Hogmanay festival started last night in Edinburgh with a torchlit procession along the Royal Mile, and continued with a concert featuring Biffy Clyro, The Charlatans and Billy Bragg and a Keilidh in Resolution Square, both of which were sold out, The Telegraph reported.

A candlelit concert took place at St Giles' Cathedral on the Royal Mile while organisers provided an impressive firework display from Edinburgh Castle and Calton Hill.

In Glasgow, crowds toasted the New Year with one of Scotland's biggest outdoor ceilidhs, in George Square.

Scottish trad-rockers Skerryvore and Celtic music legends Capercaillie appeared at the massive street party.

Countries across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Pacific also celebrated the new year, with thousands gathering in Madrid's central Puerta del Sol square to take part in "Las Uvas," or "The Grapes," a tradition in which people eat a grape for each of the 12 chimes of midnight.

In Australia 1.5 million people gathered to watch a spectacular firework display over Sydney harbour, preceded by aerial displays by vintage aircraft and a parade of boats around the harbour.

A massive pyrotechnic display in the shape of a dragon was set off in Taiwan and people in Japan wrote their wishes on note paper, attached them to balloons and released them into the sky.

In New York, nearly a million people gathered in Times Square to watch the midnight ball drop just days after the city was crippled by a devestating blizzard.

The party was one of the biggest in the world marking the start of 2011, and centered around the slow fall of a six ton, glittering ball comprising 32,256 LED lights and 2,688 Waterford crystals.

New York police turned out in force for the event, with a special focus on preventing terrorist attacks.

US security forces was high alert for weeks over fears of a terrorist attack during the Christmas and New Year's season, and New York is always considered a prime target, the New York Times reported. (ANI)

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