New Year's Celebrations Move Around The Globe

Jan 1, 2014
Originally published on January 1, 2014 8:42 am
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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's put aside reality for a few moments, and join celebrations around the world kicking off 2014 - and a fresh start in life offering at least the hope of happiness, peace, prosperity and love. In London, a spectacular fireworks display kicked off with Big Ben chiming in the New Year.

(SOUNDBITE OF A CROWD COUNTING DOWN, CLOCK CHIMING)

MONTAGNE: An added twist to tradition this year in London: edible banana confetti was thrown, and strawberry mist rained down on celebrants for a multisensory experience.

In Paris, fireworks lit up the sky behind the Eiffel Tower in time to music. The tower itself sparkled in the glow.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC, CHEERING)

MONTAGNE: Tokyo welcomed the New Year with the sound of a gong.

(SOUNDBITE OF GONG, CHEERING)

MONTAGNE: While on Shanghai's waterfront, there was a massive sound and light display.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: There were even fireworks in places without a lot to celebrate, like the capital of the repressive nation of North Korea.

(SOUNDBITE OF EXPLODING FIREWORKS)

MONTAGNE: And in New York City, as always, Times Square was packed with an estimated 1 million revelers enjoying live musical performances from the likes of Macklemore and Miley Cyrus, with some much-loved classics also played for the crowd.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NEW YORK, NEW YORK")

MONTAGNE: And, of course, the annual drop of the crystal ball.

UNIDENTIFIED CROWD MEMBERS: (Chanting) Eight, seven, six, five, four, three...

MONTAGNE: One city stood above all the rest in this revelry: Dubai, which already boasts the record for the world's tallest building, set another Guinness World Record for World's Biggest Fireworks Display - ever.

(SOUNDBITE OF DRUM ROLL, CHEERING, EXPLODING FIREWORKS)

MONTAGNE: The show used over 400,000 fireworks and lasted about six minutes, incorporating Dubai's biggest landmarks.

(SOUNDBITE OF EXPLODING FIREWORKS, MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: And the finale you just heard was so spectacular it created the illusion of a sunrise over the city.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: On this New Year's Day celebrating with you, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.