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.
Belgrade’s Ada Bridge across the Sava River was officially opened at midnight during New Year celebrations in the capital city