New Year’s 2012: Celebrations Around the World!

Revelers erupted in cheers around the world to welcome in the new year, as star-studded celebrations and glittering fireworks displays ushered in 2012.

The first worldwide celebrations started in the island nation of Samoa, which hopped across the international date line at midnight on Thursday, skipping Friday and moving instantly to Saturday.

In Sydney, more than 1.5 million people watched the shimmering pyrotechnic display designed around the theme “Time to Dream.” In London, some 250,000 people gathered to listen to Big Ben chime at the stroke of midnight. In New York, hundreds of thousands gathered at the crossroads of the world to witness a crystal ball with more than 30,000 lights descend at midnight. Fireworks soared and sparked over Moscow’s Red Square and crowds on Paris’ Champs-Elysees boulevard popped Champagne corks at midnight.

Fireworks explode over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House to celebrate the new year. (Daniel Munoz/Reuters)

Benny Benassi New Years Eve. (Reuters)

Fireworks explode over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House to celebrate the new year. (Daniel Munoz/Reuters)

Tens of thousands of people gather on Red Square in Moscow to celebrate the new year and view the fireworks as the clock on the Kremlin’s Spassky Tower, right, strikes midnight. (Mikhail Metzel/Associated Press)

Fireworks explode from Taiwan’s tallest skyscraper, Taipei 101, during New Year celebrations in Taipei. (Shengfa Lin/Reuters)

A giant dragon lantern is displayed to celebrate the New Year near the border village of Panmunjom (DMZ) that separates the two Koreas, at Imjingak Pavilion in Paju, South Korea. The year 2012 is celebrated as the year of the dragon on the Chinese lunar calendar. (Ahn Young-joon/Associated Press).

Fireworks light the sky above the Quadriga at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. (Michael Sohn/Associated Press)

Fireworks light the sky above the Quadriga at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. (Michael Sohn/Associated Press)

Thousands of people joined in with revelers who carried torches in a procession through Edinburgh, which was led by Up Helly Aa Vikings and marked the start of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations. Up Helly Aa refers to any of a variety of the annual fire festivals held in Scotland in the middle of winter to mark the new year and end of the yule season. (Danny Lawson/Press Association/Associated Press)

South Koreans view the burning of Daljips, a wooden hut built on top of a hill, to celebrate the New Year near the border village of Panmunjom (DMZ) that separates the two Koreas. (Ahn Young-joon/Associated Press)

Fireworks explode over Bucharest, Romania at midnight during street celebrations of the new year. (Vadim Ghirda/Associated Press)

Fireworks explode over Acropolis Hill and the Parthenon during New Year’s celebrations in Athens, Greece. (Petros Giannakouris/Associated Press)

Jessica Ong from Singapore starts her new year celebrations early on New Year’s Eve, at the Hogmanay street party on Princes Street, Edinburgh, Scotland. (David Cheskin/PA)

Fireworks light the sky above Cathedral Square in Vilnius, Lithuania. (Mindaugas Kulbis/Associated Press)

Mira Avenue, the city’s main street, is illuminated with festive lights in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk. (Ilya Naymushin/Reuters)

Visitors are showered by confetti as they celebrate a light show at the Temple of Heaven during the New Year Countdown Ceremony in Beijing. (Andy Wong/Sssociated Press)

Confetti is dropped on revelers during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Times Square. (Gary Hershorn/Reuters)

Patty Pique, of Jackson, Tennessee, celebrates New Year’s Eve at Peach Drop 2012 at Underground Atlanta. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Confetti drops as a Filipino blows his paper horn to welcome the New Year in Manila. (AP)

Justin Bieber performs during New Year’s Eve celebrations at Times Square. (Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)

Lady Gaga performs during New Year’s Eve celebrations at Times Square. (Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)

Fireworks explode over the Giant Ferris Wheel (Wiener Riesenrad) at Prater park during New Year celebrations in Vienna, Austria. (Lisi Niesner/Reuters)

New Year’s fireworks explode around the London Eye. (Andrew Winning/Reuters)

Fireworks explode over the Houses of Parliament, including St Stephen’s Tower, which holds the bell known as Big Ben, as London celebrates the arrival of New Year’s Day. (Alastair Grant/Associated Press)

Fireworks explode during New Year’s celebrations in downtown Beirut, Lebanon. (Bilal Hussein/Associated Press)

Children gather around a large Peep after it was dropped during a New Year’s Eve celebration at the Levitt Pavillion on the Steelstacks Campus in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. (Matt Smith/Express-Times)

Children gather around a large Peep after it was dropped during a New Year’s Eve celebration at the Levitt Pavillion on the Steelstacks Campus in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. (Matt Smith/Express-Times)

Duval Street in Key West is packed with New Year’s Eve revelers as female impersonator Gary Marion, as “Sushi,” is lowered at the Bourbon Street Pub complex. (Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau)

Female impersonator Gary Marion, as “Sushi,” dangles high above New Year’s Eve revelers in Key West. The Red Shoe Drop is a Key West tradition to celebrate the arrival of the New Year. (Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau)

Revelers ring in the new year in Times Square in New York. (Eric Michael Johnson/The New York Times)

Fireworks explode over the coastal city of Vina del Mar, Chile. (Eliseo Fernandez/Reuters)

Fireworks burst over the Las Vegas Strip. (Darrin Bush/Las Vegas News Bureau)

Filipinos watch a fireworks display as they welcome the New Year at Manila’s Rizal Park. (Aaron Favila/Associated Press)

People watch fireworks as they welcome the New Year at Constitution Square in Warsaw, Poland. (Alik Keplicz/Associated Press)

Fireworks explode shortly after midnight during New Year’s celebrations in Skopje, Macedonia. (Boris Grdanoski/Associated Press)

Fireworks explode over Crested Butte Mountain in Colorado. (Nathan Bilow/Associated Press)

A man dressed as Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost or Father Frost) talks with a girl on the subway in Moscow. Ded Moroz is a fictional character who in some Slavic cultures plays a role similar to that of Santa Claus. Ded Moroz is said to bring presents to children that are often delivered “in person” at New Year’s Eve parties and other New Year celebrations. (Mikhail Metzel/Associated Press)

A man lights an Old Man effigy which symbolizes burning the past and getting ready to start a happy New Year without bad memories of the past, in Mumbai, India. (Rafiq Maqbool/Associated Press)

Spectators at Gas Works Park watch fireworks light up the iconic Space Needle as the new year begins in Seattle. (Joshua Trujillo/seattlepi.com)

Revelers celebrate the new year in Hong Kong’s Times Square. (Kin Cheung/Associated Press)

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