Nation & World News

Happy New Year! The Celebrations Are Underway

By Mark Memmott on December 31st, 2013

It’s 2014 in Australia, New Zealand and other places on the “other side” of the international date line.

So we want to wish everyone a happy new year.

We’ll add photos and news nuggets as the new day and new year dawn around the world. One thing to watch for: Dubai’s attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for biggest fireworks display. According to The Wall Street Journal:

“If all goes to plan, more than 400,000 individual fireworks will light up over the Persian Gulf at midnight, beating a Guinness record of 77,000 set by Kuwait last year.”

The Dubai display is set to be streamed here (though the site’s “countdown clock” appears to be wrong at this time). The “teaser video” makes it look like it will be quite a show. Local time in Dubai is nine hours ahead of the U.S. East Coast.

Update at 3 p.m. ET: Dubai Puts On Record-Setting Show

Organizers of what is expected to be certified as the world’s largest fireworks display put on a show in Dubai that was seen by thousands Tuesday, as viewers turned out to celebrate the new year and watch a huge display.

Update at 11:55 a.m. ET. Video Of Sydney’s Fireworks:

While we wait for the show in Dubai, here’s video of the New Year’s fireworks in Sydney (courtesy of The Telegraph).

Update at 11:30 a.m. ET. Early Reports.

The Associated Press says that:

— “More than 1 million people crammed the Sydney Harbor foreshore on a warm summer night to watch the pyrotechnics show that appeared to live up to its billing as the most extravagant of Sydney’s already renowned annual display.”

— “Closer to the edge of the International Dateline, New Zealand bid farewell to 2013 with fireworks erupting from Auckland’s Sky Tower as cheering revelers danced in the streets of the South Pacific island nation’s largest city.”

— “In Tokyo, five priests at the Zozoji temple used ropes to swing a wooden pole against a large bell, sounding the first of 108 gongs to mark the new year. Simultaneously, “2014” lit up in white lights on the modern Tokyo Tower in the background.”

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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