While fireworks and the ball dropping in Times Square are the usual fare on New Year's Eve, the following is a look at some of the more obscure ways people around the world usher in a new calendar year.
Vikings raid Edinburgh for Hogmanay
In the Shetland area of Scotland, fire festivals, known as Up Helly Aa, dating from pre-Reformation times are still acted out in the streets of Edinburgh.
The Loony Dook
In South Queensferry, just to the west of Edinburgh, hardy (and in some cases hungover) revellers have taken up the relatively new New Year's tradition of swimming in the icy Firth on Fork river on Jan. 1.
New Year's comes early in Avila
The residents of this Spanish village, where the average age is 75, toasted the New Year 12 hours before the rest of their countrymen in a collective decision to get to bed at a decent hour.
January 1 just another day in Berchules
The residents of Berchules, in the Spanish province of Granada, also celebrate early. Because of a power outage that prevented New Year's celebrations in 1994, the Berchulese decided to move their annual celebration to the mid-point of the year, which typically falls in August.
Spanish down 12 grapes at midnight
The eating of a dozen grapes, timed with each bell strike at midnight on Dec. 31, is said to lead to a year of prosperity.
Brasstown possum drop is back
In Brasstown, N.C., a once-annual possum drop — in which a live possum is lowered to the ground at midnight — is back after a three year hiatus. The live-marsupial lowering will be preceded by a bluegrass performance and, of course, the Miss Possum contest.
The possum drops off Clay's Corner gas station
A judge and state officials cleared the lowering of the opossum after finding that no harm would come to the animal.
Romanians ring in the New Year in bear fur
Romanian villagers in the northern town of Comanesti observe a centuries-old tradition involving bear fur costumes and a door-to-door parade to ring in the New Year.
Burn your enemies in Ecuador
Known as los anos viejos, these puppets are representatives of the sins and joys of the past, which one is supposed to incinerate at midnight on Dec. 31.
This eagle's goose is cooked
In India's northeastern borderlands, Naga tribespeople enjoy a meal of wild birds, like this eagle for sale in Kohima town on Dec. 31, as a rare, seasonal delicacy.