US & World

Happy New Year! Celebrations get underway worldwide

People release balloons to celebrate the New Year during the annual countdown ceremony by the Prince Park Tower Tokyo on Jan. 1, 2014. Some 2,000 balloons were released in the air carrying visitors' wishes.
People release balloons to celebrate the New Year during the annual countdown ceremony by the Prince Park Tower Tokyo on Jan. 1, 2014. Some 2,000 balloons were released in the air carrying visitors' wishes.
Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images
People release balloons to celebrate the New Year during the annual countdown ceremony by the Prince Park Tower Tokyo on Jan. 1, 2014. Some 2,000 balloons were released in the air carrying visitors' wishes.
Thousands of people celebrate the New Year during a countdown event in front of the Bosingak Pavilion, in downtown Seoul, South Korea, on Jan. 1, 2014.
Woohae Cho/AFP/Getty Images
People release balloons to celebrate the New Year during the annual countdown ceremony by the Prince Park Tower Tokyo on Jan. 1, 2014. Some 2,000 balloons were released in the air carrying visitors' wishes.
A view of the New Year's Eve fireworks display in Sydney Harbor in Sydney, Australia.
Nikki Short/EPA/Landov
People release balloons to celebrate the New Year during the annual countdown ceremony by the Prince Park Tower Tokyo on Jan. 1, 2014. Some 2,000 balloons were released in the air carrying visitors' wishes.
Naked men in loincloths pound steamed rice into a mochi, rice cake to celebrate the New Year at the Kanda shrine in Tokyo on Jan. 1, 2014. Million of Japanese people visit shrines and temples to pray for the well-being of their families at the New Year.
Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images
People release balloons to celebrate the New Year during the annual countdown ceremony by the Prince Park Tower Tokyo on Jan. 1, 2014. Some 2,000 balloons were released in the air carrying visitors' wishes.
Fireworks explode over Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong on Jan. 1, 2014. A wave of pyrotechnic displays kicked off new year celebrations in major cities around the world, with Hong Kong welcoming 2014 with a choreographed music and fireworks show.
Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images
People release balloons to celebrate the New Year during the annual countdown ceremony by the Prince Park Tower Tokyo on Jan. 1, 2014. Some 2,000 balloons were released in the air carrying visitors' wishes.
Fireworks explode over the National Monument in Jakarta on Jan. 1, 2014 during New Year celebrations.
Bay Ismoyo/AFP/Getty Images
People release balloons to celebrate the New Year during the annual countdown ceremony by the Prince Park Tower Tokyo on Jan. 1, 2014. Some 2,000 balloons were released in the air carrying visitors' wishes.
Fireworks are let off from the Auckland Sky Tower to celebrate the new year on Jan. 1, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand.
Hannah Johnston/Getty Images


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It's 2014 in Australia, New Zealand and other places on the "other side" of the international date line.

So we want to wish everyone a happy new year.

The new day and new year dawn around the world. One thing to watch for: Dubai's attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for biggest fireworks display. According to The Wall Street Journal:

"If all goes to plan, more than 400,000 individual fireworks will light up over the Persian Gulf at midnight, beating a Guinness record of 77,000 set by Kuwait last year."

Watch the Dubai display below:

Dubai New Year's Eve

The "teaser video" makes it look like it will be quite a show.

Dubai teaser video

Local time in Dubai is twelve hours ahead of the U.S. west coast.

Early reports

The Associated Press says that:

-- "More than 1 million people crammed the Sydney Harbor foreshore on a warm summer night to watch the pyrotechnics show that appeared to live up to its billing as the most extravagant of Sydney's already renowned annual display."

-- "Closer to the edge of the International Dateline, New Zealand bid farewell to 2013 with fireworks erupting from Auckland's Sky Tower as cheering revelers danced in the streets of the South Pacific island nation's largest city."

-- "In Tokyo, five priests at the Zozoji temple used ropes to swing a wooden pole against a large bell, sounding the first of 108 gongs to mark the new year. Simultaneously, "2014" lit up in white lights on the modern Tokyo Tower in the background."

This story has been updated.