Published: January 01. 2013 4:00AM PST
Qi Zhao, 25, of China, center, cheers along with the crowd Monday at Times Square’s New Year’s Eve celebration.
Hundreds of thousands of revelers crowded into New York City’s Times Square to watch the crystal-covered ball make its annual descent, ringing in the start of 2013.
The festivities joined a slew of others around the globe, including the first public countdown in years in Myanmar.
“With all the sadness in the country, we’re looking for some good changes in 2013," Laura Concannon, of Hingham, Mass., said from Times Square.
Elsewhere, lavish fireworks displays lit up skylines in Sydney, Hong Kong and Shanghai. In the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai, multicolored fireworks danced early Tuesday up and down the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.
In Rome, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated New Year’s Eve with a vespers service in St. Peter’s Basilica to give thanks for 2012 and look ahead to 2013. He said that despite all the death and injustice in the world, goodness prevails.
John Minchillo / The Associated Press