World

World rings in 2007

Millions of revellers gathered in cities around the world to welcome 2007 with massive fireworks over their skylines, but Bangkok cancelled its main event after a series of deadly bombings rocked the city.

Cities around the worldwelcomed 2007 with massive fireworks over their skylinesasmillions of revellers hit the streets to celebrate.

In New York, a record-breaking crowd of more than a million peoplewasexpected inTimes Square, and an unprecedented 3.5 tonnes of confetti was dumped on the sea ofpeoplegatheredfrom around the world at the landmark site.

The crowd screamed as John Lennon's Imagine played before the flashing ball dropped to close the year that passed.

Three stageswere set up for more than a dozen actsperforming for the city'sNew Year's Eve bash.

Crowds packed Broadway all the way to Central Park, where hundreds of runners gathered for the park'sannual midnight run.

In London, about 200,000 people gathered to cheer as Big Ben rang in the new year, but in the Thai capital of Bangkok, officialscancelled the city's main event after a series of deadly bombings.

Sydney, Australia, kicked offthe world's first major New Year's Eve celebrations withthe largest fireworks display ever over the city's signature Harbour Bridge. The city's display has become one of the most well-loved shows in the world.
Known locally as 'the coat hanger,' the Sydney Harbour Bridge lit up at midnight for its diamond anniversary with this display to celebrate the new year. ((Mark Baker/Associated Press))

As many as a millionrevellers gatherednearthe bridgeto witness thefireworks show and attend theparty, estimated to have cost $4 million US.

Similar parties followed in South Korea and Japan, while officials in Thailand called off festivities planned in downtown Bangkok because of a series of bomb attacks.

Winds snuff several European events

Pope Benedict prayed at a New Year's Eve service at the Vatican in Rome that 2007 would bring the world "peace, comfort, justice."
Fireworks illuminate the ancient Parthenon atop the Acropolis Hill in Athens at the start of the new year on Monday. ((Kostas Tsironis/Associated Press))

But bad weather dampened celebrations in other parts of Europe. In Belfast, Northern Ireland, an outdoor concert that was to feature soul singer Beverley Knight and rock band The Thrills was called off due to the threat of gale-force winds.

Glasgow officials said high winds and rain forced them to cancel traditional Hogmanay New Year's celebrations in the Scottish city. Edinburgh also cancelled its Hogmanay party, which was to be headlined by the Pet Shop Boys.
Fireworks explode over the London Eye during New Year's Eve celebrations by the Thames in central London. ((Lefteris Pitarakis/ Associated Press))

In Japan, thousands climbed mountains, some scaling the famed Mount Fuji, to greet the first dawn of the year. Police expected crowds at the summits to reach 15,000.

With files from the Associated Press