Revellers converged on the beaches of Brazil, the skyscrapers of Dubai, and New York’s Times Square to say good riddance to a turbulent 2014 marred by terror woes, ebola, and airline disasters.
About 1m revellers rang in the new year in Times Square, watching a giant, glittering ball drop as a tonne of confetti fell, containing well wishes for the upcoming year.
Activists in Boston staged a peaceful “die-in” during First Night, the city’s New Year’s Eve celebration. Police reported no arrests or disruptions to nearby festivities.
In New York, where police are still mourning two officers shot dead in a patrol car, dozens of protesters marched in Manhattan on New Year’s Eve.
The Gulf Arab emirate of Dubai was aiming to break the world record for the largest LED-illuminated façade with its spectacular display centred on the world’s tallest building.
About 70,000 LED panels around the 829.8m Burj Khalifa flashed coloured lights and projected images of the country’s leaders when clocks there struck midnight as a massive fireworks display erupted. The celebration drew throngs of thousands of spectators.
Emaar Properties said a team from Guinness World Records monitored the preparations. Last year, Dubai won the title for the world’s largest fireworks display.
In Iraq’s war-scarred capital Baghdad, authorities ordered a one-off lifting of the overnight curfew in force for more than a decade to allow the city’s revellers to stay out late on the streets.
More than 1m people flocked to the golden sands of Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana beach, where two dozen artists and DJs were performing on three stages.
A massive fireworks display blasted from boats on the Atlantic Ocean lights the sky over the crowd, which traditionally dresses in all white, a Brazilian tradition to bring purification and a peaceful year. Another tradition calls for partygoers to enter the sea up to their knees and jump over seven waves shortly after the new year begins, for luck.
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