The entire globe has celebrated the New Year with a series of stunning firework shows. In Japan, millions of people visited local temples and shrines to greet 2014 with contemplation and to pray for peace.
In Seoul, a bronze bell made in the15th-century rang 33 times, a traditional way of announcing that a new year has begun.
In Singapore, thousands of white spheres were launched on Marina Bay, holding the locals’ wishes for 2014.
Indonesia, however, could not mark the beginning of 2014 to the fullest, as the New Year’s Eve celebrations were banned for the first time. Islamic police seized thousands of firecrackers and cardboard trumpets.
Europe joined in the party with a giant salvo in London, after Dubai attempted to break the work record for the biggest-ever fireworks show and Sydney got the ball rolling ahead of Asia with a dazzling display, according to the international press.
Spanish party people in Madrid celebrated the New Year by eating 12 grapes, one with each clock chime, as the local tradition says.
In Dubai, the Middle East hub was attempting to break the Guinness World Record by setting off more than 400,000 fireworks.
“It is amazing,” said May Hinnawi, a 35-year-old Syrian. “I will tell my children and grand children I was here to see this event.”
In Russia, a pre-recorded tape containing President Vladimir Putin’s New Year address surprised the Russians, as no mention of the Volgograd suicide attacks was made.
In Africa, Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita wished to his people “peace, nothing but peace” after a year full of conflicts.
South Africa said good-bye to 2013 with a 3D video send-off of Nelson Mandela as the country started 2014 without its most important and loved person.
North Korea was the only country to make a discordant note amid the global celebration, as leader Kim Jong-Un threatened with a “massive nuclear disaster” if war ever broke out in his country again.