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Welcome 2012! New Year's Around the World

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As midnight marched across the world's time zones last night, people welcomed the start of a new year, ushering out the old and toasting the new. From Beijing to Moscow, Beirut to Paris, and London to New York, parties, fireworks and festivals welcomed 2012, the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese Lunar Calendar. Gathered here are images from these celebrations last night, and the many people who took part. Happy New Year everyone, may it be a fantastic year for you and yours. [39 photos]

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Fireworks light up the London skyline and Big Ben just after midnight on January 1, 2012, in London, England. Thousands of people lined the banks of the River Thames in central London to ring in the New Year with a spectacular fireworks display. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Fireworks light up the London skyline and Big Ben just after midnight on January 1, 2012, in London, England. Thousands of people lined the banks of the River Thames in central London to ring in the New Year with a spectacular fireworks display. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
A couple watches the last rays of sunlight for 2011 at sunset from the waters off Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii, on December 31, 2011. (Reuters/Jason Reed) #
A giant dragon lantern is displayed to celebrate the New Year near the border village of Panmunjom (DMZ) that separates the two Koreas since the Korean War, at Imjingak Pavilion in Paju, South Korea, Sunday, January 1, 2012. The year 2012 is celebrated as the year of the dragon on the Chinese lunar calendar. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon) #
Women use sparklers to draw "2012" for photographers, in front of a house, as they celebrate New Years Eve in Manila, Philippines, on December 31, 2011. (Reuters/Romeo Ranoco) #
Confetti drops as a Filipino blows his paper horn as they welcome the New Year at Manila's Rizal Park, Philippines, on Sunday January 1, 2012. More than 200 people have been injured by illegal firecrackers and celebratory gunfire in the Philippines despite a government scare campaign against reckless New Year revelries, officials recently said. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila) #
Fireworks explode over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House during a pyrotechnic show to celebrate the New Year, on January 1, 2012. (Reuters/Daniel Munoz) #
People release balloons as the Tokyo Tower is illuminated to celebrate the New Year at a countdown event at the Zojo-ji Buddhist temple in Tokyo, on January 1, 2012. (Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon) #
Young people celebrate New Year's Day at Tokyo's Shibuya district, on January 1, 2012. (Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images) #
Residents watch fireworks displays above the Malaysia's iconic landmarks, the Twin Towers, during the new year celebrations in Kuala Lumpur, on January 1, 2012. (Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images) #
Colorful light illuminate the Temple of Heaven, Beijing's historic landmark during a countdown event for new year 2012 on January 1, 2012. (Liu Jin/AFP/Getty Images) #
People gather to celebrate the new year 2012 at the illuminated Temple of Heaven, the city's historic landmark in Beijing, on January 1, 2012. (Liu Jin/AFP/Getty Images) #
In this December 31, 2011 photo, staff members of He Garden show their homemade glasses in the shape of 2012 in Yangzhou, east China's Jiangsu Province. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Meng Delong) #
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 since the Korean War, at Imjingak Pavilion in Paju, South Korea, on January 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon) #
A Sri Lankan mask traditional dancer performs in Colombo, on December 31, 2011. The ceremony was conducted to ward off bad spirits in the 2012 New Year. (Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP/Getty Images) #
Fireworks explode from Taiwan's tallest skyscraper Taipei 101 during New Year celebrations in Taipei, on January 1, 2012. (Reuters/Shengfa Lin) #
Students sit in a formation during their New Year's Day celebrations at a school in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad, on December 31, 2011. (Reuters/Amit Dave) #
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, on January 1, 2012.(AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool) #
Thousands of people watch fireworks during New Year's Day celebration on Red Square in Moscow, on January 1, 2012. (Reuters/Denis Sinyakov) #
A couple kisses as fireworks explode in the sky over Bucharest, Romania, at midnight, Sunday, January 1, 2012, during street celebrations of the new year. Large crowds gathered downtown Romania's capital taking advantage of the dry weather to attend the celebrations. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda) #
Lebanese watch a firework display the New Year's celebrations in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, on January 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein) #
Fireworks explode beside Vienna's Giant Ferris Wheel (Wiener Riesenrad) at Prater park during New Year's celebrations in Vienna, on January 1, 2012. (Reuters/Lisi Niesner) #
Fireworks explode over the Quadriga statue atop the Brandenburg Gate on New Year's Eve on January 1, 2012, in Berlin, Germany. According to the media, up to one million people celebrated at the country's biggest New Year's Eve Party. (Andreas Rentz/Getty Images) #
A couple kiss as fireworks light the sky during New Year celebrations in Sarajevo, on January 1, 2012. (Reuters/Dado Ruvic) #
New Year's Eve fireworks illuminate the sky over the Dom Tower, on January 01, 2012 in Utrecht, Netherlands. (Jasper Juinen/Getty Images) #
People spray champagne as they celebrate the New Year on the Trocadero square in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, early on January 1, 2012. (Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images) #
A man films fireworks exploding in the sky over the Ebrie lagoon during New Year celebrations in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on January 1, 2012. (Sia Kambou/AFP/Getty Images) #
A capacity crowd fills the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine with lit candles during New Year's Eve "Concert for Peace" in New York, on December 31, 2011. (Reuters/Ray Stubblebine) #
Fireworks light up the London skyline and Big Ben just after midnight on January 1, 2012 in London, England. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) #
Fireworks explode during a pyrotechnic show to celebrate the new year in the coastal city of Vina del Mar, about 121 km (75 miles) northwest of Santiago, Chile, on January 1, 2012. (Reuters/Eliseo Fernandez) #
A large illuminated Peep waits to be dropped to usher in the New Year, Saturday, December 31, 2011, at the Levitt Pavilion on the Steelstacks Campus in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Express-Times, Matt Smith) #
Confetti is dropped on revelers at midnight during New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square in New York, on January 1, 2012. (Reuters/Gary Hershorn) #
Confetti rains down on celebrants at midnight during New Year's Eve in Times Square in New York, on January 1, 2012. (Reuters/ Kena Betancur) #
Female impersonator Gary Marion, as "Sushi," dangles above New Year's Eve revelers in a giant replica of a woman's high heel at the Bourbon Street Pub complex in Key West, Florida, December 31, 2011. The Red Shoe Drop is a Key West tradition to celebrate the arrival of the new year. (Reuters/Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau/Handout) #
Brazilians celebrate at the annual New Year's Eve beach party on December 31, 2011 for the Copacabana Reveillon in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. One of the world's largest New Year's Eve parties in the world rang in 2012 with performances lasting through 3 a.m. (Konrad Fiedler/Getty Images) #
People watch the fireworks along Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, on December 31, 2011 during celebrations. (Vanderlei Almeida/AFP/Getty Images) #
Fireworks burst over the Las Vegas Strip at midnight on New Year's Day 2012, as seen from Mix at Mandalay Bay. (Photo/Las Vegas News Bureau, Darrin Bush) #
A go-go dancer from Fire N Ice Entertainment performs with DJ Benny Benassi for New Years Eve at Yost Theatre in Santa Ana, California, on January 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Dan Krauss) #
Spectators at Gas Works Park watch fireworks light up the iconic Space Needle as the new year begins on Sunday, January 1, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. (AP Photo/seattlepi.com, Joshua Trujillo) #
The first rising sun of 2012 appears above Mt. Fuji, observed at Yamanashi prefecture on January 1, 2012. All Nippon Airways (ANA) had organized a rising sun observation flight with 137 passengers on New Year's Day. (JIJI Press/AFP/Getty Images) #

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