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Worldwide Celebrations As New Year Is Ushered In

BERLIN: Around one million people gathered in central Berlin on Thursday to take part in a street party and see the fireworks display above the landmark Brandenburg Gate welcoming the new year 2010.Multicoloured fireworks illuminated
PTI January 01, 2010 9:32 IST
PTI

BERLIN: Around one million people gathered in central Berlin on Thursday to take part in a street party and see the fireworks display above the landmark Brandenburg Gate welcoming the new year 2010.

Multicoloured fireworks illuminated the area crowded with Berliners and tourists attending the street party.

Giant video screens beamed images of pop stars while party tents and food stalls catered to revellers, many of whom expected to party into the small hours.

As the lights went out the well wishers expressed their hopes and dreams for the new year.

"First of all good health, happiness and above all love. Thats all that is needed," Matthias Hojer said.

"Lots of fun and less homework," said Noemi, a young reveller from Munich.
 
LONDON: Revellers across Britain braved freezing temperatures to welcome the New Year at spectacular fireworks in London and Edinburgh.

More than 200,000 people gathered on the banks of the Thames to hear Big Ben strike midnight, while thousands joined the Hogmanay celebrations in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

A dry night with mainly clear skies provided onlookers with a perfect view of the seven-and-a-half minute display in London.

Up to 80,000 people were ushering in the new year at the huge outdoor celebration in Edinburgh, where temperatures fell to a biting -6C by midnight. Partygoers in central London enjoyed a comparatively balmy 3C.
 
PARIS: The Eiffel Tower beamed as brightly as those celebrating the New Year in the French capital on Thursday night.

Parisians and tourists made new year's resolutions and wished each other the best under one of the world's most iconic landmarks as the 'City of Lights' lived up to it's name and for the first time the Eiffel Tower lit up like a rainbow to honour it's anniversary.

The hour long light show brought the Tower's 120th birthday year to an end with a twelve-minute extravaganza at midnight -- one minute for each decade that it has stood tall over the Parisian skyline.

As the lights went out, the well wishers lit up their own celebration, as kissing couples and popping champagne bottles took over the romantic city.

Despite seeing off the old year and finishing at midnight, the picturesque light display did herald a new era of conserving energy.

Using more than 400 new LED lights, the Eiffel Tower's illuminations reduce the carbon footprint of the Paris monument in 2010, but not it's mark on the Paris skyline. 
 
MOSCOW: Around 120,000 people took to Red Square in central Moscow to celebrate the arrival of 2010.

Russia celebrates New Year eleven times, the number of the time zones in the country.

Several minutes before the Kremlin clock tower struck midnight Russia's main channels broadcast the traditional presidential address to the nation.

"Dear Russian citizens, dear friends, This night I have a few unique minutes when I can address each of you. The passing year was not the easiest one for our country and, first of all, I want to thank you and say that you've proven that together we could deflect the blow, overcome difficulties, which means we will move forward to create strong and modern state, sustained and clever economy, do everything so that the life of every person becomes more comfortable and secure," Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said in his New Year's Eve address.

At an outdoor skating rink put up in the Red Square people were cheering the fireworks and making wishes for the New year.

"I'm looking forward to new impressions, new achievements. I've found a new job last year and in this new year everything should be positive, better than in the past year," said Anton, who came with his friends to the skating rink.

"We wish for all new - new life, new love, new car, new apartment," said two friends Lena and Masha.

"It is great here, so much fun, just super. It's a must to celebrate New year in the Red Square if you have a chance", said Muscovite Yulia.

Moscow police said about 4,000 police have been deployed in the city to maintain law and order in the centre on New Year's Eve and during the first hours of the first day of 2010. Metal frame detectors have been placed in side streets leading to Red Square.

The Moscow firefighting service said more than 1,300 fire-fighters and rescuers would be on duty in the Russian capital. Last year during the New Year celebrations 108 fires were registered in residential areas of Moscow on the night between December 31 and January 1, while the first three days of 2009 saw over 400 fires in the Russian capital.
 
BAGHDAD: U.S. troops welcomed the new year on Friday (January 1) with a dance party under the tents at Contingency Operating Base in Basra, Iraq.

A DJ at the New Year's Eve bash brought dancers to the floor with bass-pumping music, including Lady Gaga's hit song "Pokerface".

A red bull head glowing with red lightsdropped from above as the crowd of soldiers and civilian contractors counted down from 10 to one, marking the stroke of midnight and the start of 2010.