New yr party begins, NZ welcomes 2010

Last Updated: Thursday, December 31, 2009 - 18:14

Zeenews Bureau

Wellington: New Year 2010 party began on Thursday as New Zealand revellers crowded the manin city squares and marked the end of 2009 with loud partying.

Though consumption of alcohol is banned to make the new year celebrations a family affair, thousands were seen having a good time with loud music and fireworks at Auckland`s downtown, Civic Square in Wellington and Cathedral Square in Christchurch.

Dance parties, bands and fireworks were planned in the main cities, and live entertainment in many holiday spots, including the southern tourist spot of Queenstown rocked the nation. In the capital, Wellington, celebrations will include a display by world unicycle games competitors.

Partygoers from Tuvalu to Tijuana were set to raise a
glass to bid farewell to 2009 and usher in a new decade,
closing the door on 10 years scarred by wars, terror attacks,
natural disasters and financial turmoil.

In Sydney, the world`s first major city to see in the New
Year, around 1.5 million people were expected to crowd the
harbour foreshore for a high-tech fireworks display on the
iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Paris`s Eiffel Tower was to be transformed into a
multicoloured light show while in Berlin, more than one
million revellers were expected on the boulevard leading to
the Brandenburg Gate, the symbol of German unity.

Celebrations in Britain centre on the London Eye, the
giant wheel across the river Thames from the Houses of
Parliament and Big Ben, as the world`s most famous clock
heralds the start of the New Year.

A downpour of confetti was to mark the moment at New
York`s traditional mass celebration in Times Square in the
heart of Manhattan.

Pyrotechnics displays were planned to illuminate Hong Kong`s crowded skyline, high-glitz parties were planned in Singapore and thousands were expected to gather at Indonesia`s national monument in the capital, Jakarta, for a fireworks show.

Millions of Japanese will welcome the new year by flocking to shrines to pray for good fortune in 2010.

The global financial crisis bit hard in 2009, sending economies around the world tumbling into recession and causing millions to lose their jobs and house foreclosures to rise. Signs of recovery emerged late in the year, giving hope that 2010 would bring better times.

In Sydney, crowds defied gray skies and drizzling rain in the middle of summer to line parks and public places along the harbor foreshore. High-rise apartments with water views prepared for toney parties.

Revelers were asked to wear something blue, the color chosen to match the fireworks show`s theme: Awaken the Spirit.

First Published: Thursday, December 31, 2009 - 18:14
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