December 31, 2010 (KATAKAMI / VOA) — Australia, New Zealand and Pacific island states have welcomed the new year with celebrations and fireworks displays, as the first places in the world to welcome 2011.
The new year first reached the island nation of Kiribati, which sits just east of the International Date Line.
New Zealanders welcomed New Year’s Day 2011 with a spectacular fireworks show in the capital of Wellington.
In Sydney, Australia, at least 1.5 million people gathered to witness the annual New Year’s fireworks show on the Harbor Bridge.
Later, Moscow residents will gather in Red Square, and about 250,000 people will be on the banks of London’s River Thames to witness a fireworks display as the Big Ben clock at Parliament chimes in the new year.
One of the world’s biggest New Year’s Eve celebrations will take place in New York City, where organizers say a million people will be in Times Square for the annual drop of a huge ball adorned with bright lights and jewelry. (*)