Revelers Around the World Start to Greet the New Year – Voice of America

Revelers in New Zealand and Australia celebrated the New Year with huge fireworks displays as countries across the globe get set to bid farewell to a tumultuous 2014 and greet the first day of 2015.


A giant clock on Auckland’s landmark Sky Tower counted down the minutes Wednesday night until the New Year, before fireworks launched from the tower lit the nighttime sky.


In Sydney, more than 1.5 million revelers massed in warm summer weather along the shores of the city’s harbor to watch a spectacular eruption of pyrotechnics that featured depictions of shimmering gold and silver palm trees.


Cities large and small across the world prepared their own fireworks displays, concerts and other celebrations unique to their communities.


Beijing planned to count down to 2015 with a figure skating exhibition aimed at promoting China’s bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, while Rio de Janeiro was expecting more than a million revelers to crowd its Copacabana Beach for rock concerts on three stages.


New York, with the most prominent New Year’s celebration in the United States, is set to drop its crystal ball at midnight, with several hundred thousand revelers cheering the annual event.


But in Indonesia, in the aftermath of the crash of the AirAsia passenger jet into the depths of the Java Sea, prayerful remembrances took precedence in Jakarta and other cities canceled their normal New Year celebrations.

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