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World embraces 2008 New Year
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Fireworks explode over the Red Square during New Year's celebrations in Moscow Jan. 1, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)


A buffoon shakes his hands during a New Year's celebration in Spain's Madrid on Dec. 31, 2007. (Xinhua Photo)


Fireworks light up the sky over Marina Bay during New Year celebrations in Singapore Jan. 1, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)


An Austrian man (L-Front) opens a bottle of champagne to greet the New Year in Vienna Jan. 1, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)


New Year celebrations were held in Bangkok, Thailand on Jan. 1, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)


A lighted display in the shape of an hour glass glows on the Sydney Harbour Bridge during a New Year's Eve fireworks celebrations show Dec. 31, 2007. Known for its choreographed and themed fireworks displays, this year's display is titled "The Time of Our Lives."(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)


Fireworks over Sydney harbour. Sydney staged a spectacular curtainraiser to the new year with a massive fireworks display watched by more than one million people lining the harbour of Australia's largest city. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)


Several young people play fireworks to geet the New Year in Manila, Philippines, Jan. 1, 2008.


A couple play fireworks during the New Year celebration in Berlin, Germany, on Jan. 1, 2007.


A Russian man dances during the New Year celebration at the Red Square, Moscow on Jan. 1, 2008.


People around the world embraced the 2008 New Year with celebrations of all kinds, including fireworks, concerts and get-togethers.


In Beijing, a large-scale outdoor performance was staged on the last day of 2007 on Monday to celebrate the Olympic host city stepping into the "Olympic Year."


The performance saw about 4,000 spectators waving and cheering for pop stars who sang songs related to Olympic dreams and spirit.


Most of the spectators were university students wearing hats and gloves in the five colors of the Olympic Rings.


In Moscow, Russia, tens of thousands of people went to the Red Square to celebrate the New Year at an open-air concert, a skating rink and a boom of the Kremlin's chief tower clock at minus 5 degrees Celsius.


In Indonesia's capital of Jakarta, people thronged around the Monas Monument to celebrate the New Year which was also highlighted by spectacular fireworks.


After enjoying various forms of fireworks near the Monas Monument for 20 minutes, revelers poured into the city till the change of the year.


In Australia's Sydney, one of the first cities to meet 2008, more than 1 million people lined the harbor and cheered as fireworks sprayed from the iconic Harbor Bridge.


In Malaysia, a countdown concert and a fireworks display were staged for the celebration.


In war-torn Iraq, people took to the streets of Baghdad, shooting firecrackers and weapons.


The ballrooms of two famous hotels, the Palestine and the Sheraton were packed with merrymakers.


In France's Paris, about 400,000 local residents and tourists crowded the famous Champs-Elysees Avenue with a mass of car-honking celebration.


In Britain's London, people flocked in the Trafalgar Square and along the banks of River Thames to enjoy a fireworks display and hear Big Ben's resounding bongs.


Germany's Berlin also saw a remarkable celebration as about 1 million people packed streets around the Brandenburg Gate in what local media ranked as the world's biggest New Year party.


In the Spanish capital of Madrid, thousands gathered in the Puerta del Sol Square for the New Year countdown. Many also followed the tradition of eating 12 grapes, one for each chime of the clock, in hope of good luck in 2008.


New York's Times Square, which is always packed with visitors on the New Year Eve, was flocked again with people who gathered to watch the dropping of a new energy-efficient ball and cheered as the clocks strike 12.


(Xinhua News Agency January 1, 2008)


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