New Year celebrations around world

New Year celebration at Taipei Flora Expo

Artists perform during a New Year celebration at the Taipei International Flora Exposition in Taipei, southeast China’s Taiwan, Dec. 31, 2010. A performance was held here to mark the New Year’s Eve on Friday night. (Xinhua/Wu Ching-teng)

Confetti is seen – Yahoo! News Photos;_ylt=AtllIQXXOhjbrY1UFiDlOp1H2ocA;_ylu=X3oDMTE3ZWFlNGgwBHBvcwMyNgRzZWMDeW5fZmVhdHVyZWQEc2xrA21vcmVwaG90b3NyYQ–

Fireworks in Sydney, ball drop in NY ring in 2011 – Yahoo! News

NEW YORK – Nearly a million revelers crowded New York’s Times Square to witness the traditional dazzling ball drop, fireworks lit up Australia’s Sydney Harbor and communist Vietnam held a rare Western-style countdown to the new year as the world ushered in 2011.

In Europe, Greeks, Irish and Spaniards partied through the night to help put a year of economic woe behind them, and Japanese revelers released balloons carrying notes with people’s hopes and dreams.

In New York, a crystal ball with 32,000 lights descended at midnight, setting off a wild and noisy confetti-filled New Year’s celebration — the country’s largest — at the crossroads of the world. And it all happened just days after a debilitating blizzard paralyzed the city and the surrounding area.

Computer engineer Chris Tulloch, who came from upstate New York with his wife, Sherine, to experience Times Square for the first time, said the celebration was a good start for the new year.

“The amount of people in the crowd, the friendships that we formed, made us realize so many people have the same hopes and dreams for 2011 as we do,” he said.

All around the United States, people said they were setting aside concerns about the economy, bad winter weather and even potential terrorist threats to ring in 2011 at large and small gatherings.

Even more than most years, New York was in the spotlight as it battled back from a severe snowstorm and security concerns eight months after a Pakistani immigrant tried to detonate a car bomb in Times Square. Police said the city wasn’t the target of a New Year’s Eve terror threat, but they had a strict security plan in place, with sealed manhole covers, counter-snipers on rooftops and checkpoints for partygoers…..

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