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31Dec/100

World begins New Year Celebrations – Happy 2011!

Multicoloured starbusts and gigantic sparklers lit the midnight sky over Sydney Harbour in a dazzling fireworks show witnessed by 1.5 million enthusiastic spectators who camped out all day to see in the new year.

Sydney touted its claim to be the New Year's Eve capital of the world with a spectacular display over the iconic Harbour Bridge, its largest since 2000.

As the clock ticked closer to 2011, cities across Asia readied for midnight events ranging from traditional prayers in Japan to a massive pyrotechnic display in the shape of a dragon in Taiwan.

Hundreds of thousands of people gathered along Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour to watch fireworks explode from the roofs of 10 of the city's most famous buildings.

At Japan's Zojoji temple in central Tokyo, founded in 1393, monks chanted as thousands packed in to count down until midnight. Revellers released a mass of silver balloons, as the temple's giant bell rang in the background.

Earlier, New Zealanders sang and danced their way into 2011, with firework displays and sold-out concerts entertaining revellers. In the biggest city, Auckland, explosions of red, gold and white burst over the Sky Tower.

In New York City, nearly a million revellers are expected to cram into the streets around Times Square to watch the traditional midnight ball drop.

This year marks the first time Vietnam's capital, Hanoi, officially celebrates the new year with a countdown occasion, complete with a light show and foreign DJs in front of the city's elegant French colonial-style opera house.

In London, thousands will witness a musical and firework display at the 135-metre high London Eye. Meanwhile Spaniards will gather in their main town squares to eat 12 grapes one by one as the bell in the square marks the countdown to 2011.

Happy New Year from Bargain Villas

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