Cities Around The World Ring In The New Year


Revellers around the world said goodbye to 2010, ringing in the new year with fireworks displays, sparklers, confetti and concerts.

Thousands who had jammed into Nathan Phillips Square at Toronto's city hall were greeted with fireworks and confetti as the clock struck midnight. In New York City, nearly one million people crowded into Times Square to witness the traditional ball drop.

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.

Earlier, officials estimated that about a quarter-million people watched the colours of the Union Jack light up the sky over the River Thames in London.

In Madrid, about 50,000 people gathered in the central Puerta del Sol square for Las Uvas, or "the grapes," a tradition in which people eat a grape for each of the 12 chimes of midnight.

New Zealand's largest city, Auckland, was the first major city to ring in midnight with explosions of red, gold and white bursting over the Sky Tower early Saturday as tens of thousands shouted, danced and sang in the streets below.

Two hours later in Sydney, Australia, an estimated 1.5 million people gathered on folding chairs, picnic blankets and blowup beds to watch the extravagant 12-minute fireworks display over the city's Harbour Bridge.

Hundreds of thousands of people gathered along Hong Kong's Victoria Harbor to watch fireworks explode from the roofs of 10 of the city's most famous buildings.

Thousands also flocked to the opera house in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, for a New Year's party event, including techno music, DJs and strobe lights.