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Welcoming 2014 Around The World

A world-wide wave of celebrations rang in 2014 with a dazzling 30-minute fireworks show in Dubai, a deluge of confetti in London that tasted as good as it looked and a lavish, boozy, music-filled party throughout the streets of Las Vegas.


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Costumed musicians perform on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris, Wednesday Jan. 1, 2014, as part of a parade organized by fairground entertainers to celebrate the New Year.(AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)

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People toast with champagne while swimming in the cold water, during the annual swim in the Lake of Geneva for celebrating the New Year at the Bains des Paquis, in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Keystone, Salvatore Di Nolfi)

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An Indian Sikh devotee takes a holy dip in the sacred pond at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. Thousands of Sikh devotees stand in a queue to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple, Sikhs' holiest shrine, on the first day of the New Year. (AP Photo/Sanjeev Syal)

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In this photo provided by the Las Vegas News Bureau, fireworks burst over the Las Vegas Strip at midnight on New Year's 2014,

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Fireworks explode above the central square of Rosa Khutor ski resort, a venue of the 2014 Winter Olympics, in Krasnaya Polyana, 60 kilometers (37.5 miles) east of Sochi, Russia  (AP Photo/Lesya Polyakova)
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Revelers watch the Allendale tar barrel men carry burning whiskey barrels on their heads, primed with tar, shavings and a pint of paraffin as part of the Baal Fire in Allendale, England, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. The ritual takes place every year on 31st December as a farewell to the past 12 months a ceremony which has been in existence since the Dark Ages.
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Revelers take part in the festivities in New York's Times Square shortly after midnight . (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
In Buffalo, it was a slightly smaller-than-usual crowd -- somewhat reduced by the frigid temperature -- that rang in the New year outside Buffalo's Electric Tower.

Meantime, Niagara Falls had its own midnight celebration -- dropping a 10-foot illuminated Gibson guitar off the Giacomo Hotel.

In freezing New York City's Times Square, a sea of horn-tooting, hat-wearing revelers cheered and some smooched as the famed crystal ball dropped at midnight.

Kerrie McConaghy, 20, a university student visiting Times Square from Armagh, Ireland, was dancing and jumping up and down, donning a big blue top hat.

"It's unbelievable here," she said. "The lights, seeing the ball, hearing the music, all the people. It's amazing."

"TV doesn't do this justice," she said. "You have to be here to believe it."

Marcus Ix, 34, visiting from Germany, gave his wife, Sabrina, a big kiss when the ball dropped and confetti rained down.

"This is the best New Year's Eve of my life," he said as the crowd erupted with cheers and cries of "Happy New Year!" `'It was worth the 13 hour wait in the cold."

The annual New York celebration, which this year featured performances from artists such as Miley Cyrus, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Blondie, has become part endurance sport because post-9/11 security measures force spectators into pens at least 12 hours in advance, with no food, warmth or bathrooms.

"We've got adult diapers. We're wearing them right now," said 14-year-old Amber Woods, who came with friends from the New York City suburbs to experience the event for the first time. They entered their corral at 10 a.m. Tuesday. For nourishment, they brought lollipops and popcorn. For the cold, they did a lot of jumping in place.

Las Vegas held one its biggest ever New Year's Eve celebrations, with sold-out concerts and an eight-minute long fireworks show that was billed as the largest in the country. The Minus5 Ice Bar Mandalay Bay started handing out free champagne for hourly toasts at 11 a.m. Tourists were seen toting novelty drinks into casinos by noon.

Big-ticket musical acts Bruno Mars, John Legend and Maroon 5 helped lure 335,000 visitors to Las Vegas by nightfall on Tuesday - 5,000 more than last year, tourism officials said.

London welcomed 2014 with a mixture of futuristic fireworks and torch-lit tradition. The city's mayor said this year's explosive display came packed with peach-flavored snow, edible banana confetti and orange-scented bubbles. The evening also included scratch-and-sniff programs, LED wristbands and fruit-flavored sweets.

In Russia, where two suicide bombings in two days killed 34 people, eerily empty busses lumbered through the streets of Volgograd, where authorities canceled mass events for New Year's Eve.

President Vladimir Putin, in his New Year's Eve address to the nation, vowed that the fight against terrorists will continue "until their destruction is complete," Russian news agencies reported.

In Dubai, a Persian Gulf city known for glitz, glamour and over-the-top achievements like the world's tallest skyscraper, officials sought to break another record by creating the largest fireworks show.

The Dubai skyline was a canvas for a dazzling 30-minute show. The display capped off with six minutes of fireworks that engulfed the city's man-made, palm-shaped island, with its fronds and trunk shimmering in thousands of lights. Organizers had promised that the fireworks would form a flying falcon, a sunrise and the United Arab Emirates flag.

In the Phillipines, more than 260 people were injured by firecracker blasts and celebratory gunfire in a nation marking the end of a year of tragic disasters, including a Nov. 8 typhoon that left more than 6,100 dead and nearly 1,800 missing.

"Many here are welcoming the new year after losing their mothers, fathers, siblings and children so you can imagine how it feels," said village chief Maria Rosario Bactol of the Anibong community in Tacloban, the city worst hit by Typhoon Haiyan. "I tell them to face the reality, to move on and stand up, but I know it will never be easy."

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