New Year's Celebrations Move Around The Globe
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Let's put aside reality for a few moments, and join celebrations around the world kicking off 2014 - and a fresh start in life offering at least the hope of happiness, peace, prosperity and love. In London, a spectacular fireworks display kicked off with Big Ben chiming in the New Year.
(SOUNDBITE OF A CROWD COUNTING DOWN, CLOCK CHIMING)
MONTAGNE: An added twist to tradition this year in London: edible banana confetti was thrown, and strawberry mist rained down on celebrants for a multisensory experience.
In Paris, fireworks lit up the sky behind the Eiffel Tower in time to music. The tower itself sparkled in the glow.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC, CHEERING)
MONTAGNE: Tokyo welcomed the New Year with the sound of a gong.
(SOUNDBITE OF GONG, CHEERING)
MONTAGNE: While on Shanghai's waterfront, there was a massive sound and light display.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
MONTAGNE: There were even fireworks in places without a lot to celebrate, like the capital of the repressive nation of North Korea.
(SOUNDBITE OF EXPLODING FIREWORKS)
MONTAGNE: And in New York City, as always, Times Square was packed with an estimated 1 million revelers enjoying live musical performances from the likes of Macklemore and Miley Cyrus, with some much-loved classics also played for the crowd.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NEW YORK, NEW YORK")
MONTAGNE: And, of course, the annual drop of the crystal ball.
UNIDENTIFIED CROWD MEMBERS: (Chanting) Eight, seven, six, five, four, three...
MONTAGNE: One city stood above all the rest in this revelry: Dubai, which already boasts the record for the world's tallest building, set another Guinness World Record for World's Biggest Fireworks Display - ever.
(SOUNDBITE OF DRUM ROLL, CHEERING, EXPLODING FIREWORKS)
MONTAGNE: The show used over 400,000 fireworks and lasted about six minutes, incorporating Dubai's biggest landmarks.
(SOUNDBITE OF EXPLODING FIREWORKS, MUSIC)
MONTAGNE: And the finale you just heard was so spectacular it created the illusion of a sunrise over the city.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
MONTAGNE: On this New Year's Day celebrating with you, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.